My beloved

The Baptism of the Lord

Today’s Gospel is concise; however, it gives a lot of information about Jesus. John feels that Jesus is so much greater than he is, that he says that he is not worthy to untie his sandals. This was the job usually left to the servants or slaves. John said these words to show just how great Jesus was and to shed light on Jesus’ true identity. After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon him and even more, a voice describes this man, from the little town of Nazareth, the son of a carpenter, as “my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

As parents, you can most probably identify with God the Father’s pride, when he says that he is pleased with Jesus. How many photographs do you have of your children? How proud you must have felt when you saw your children in a school show or concert, whilst playing, during a prize day, every time you children surmounted some obstacle? How many times did you feel that you wanted to shout out for all to hear: “This is my daughter!”, “This is my son!” They are your children, and you love them.

Jesus did not need to be baptised. He had no sin to be forgiven. However, he is baptised like all sinners. He does not distance himself from us. Although much greater than any of us, he wants to show us that he wants to become part of our lives, who ever we are, and what ever we have done. Jesus wants to share our lives.

In baptism, we too, become children on God. Just as God told Jesus, he says about us: “This is my beloved son,” “This is my beloved daughter.” God is proud of us, too. God loves us. The same Holy Spirit that descended upon Jesus, descends upon us in baptism.

It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength and the courage to live as God wants us, and to live our calling. God has called you to be parents. You took your children to be baptised. On that day, you said that you were ready to bring up the children in the faith. You accepted the duty to bring them up in obedience to God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and neighbour. It is the Holy Spirit who helps you to live out the duties as Christian parents in the best way possible.

A reading from the Gospel of Mark (Mk 1, 7-11) 

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: 
“One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. This gospel shows who Jesus is. Pray so that Jesus continues to reveal himself to you and you get to know him better.
  4. Do you feel that you are truly the son/daughter of God? If not, why?
  5. Repeat slowly: “NN (your name), you are my beloved daughter, I love you.” / “NN (your name), you are my beloved son, I love you.” Allow God to speak to you through these words.
  6. Think about the last time you praised your children, when you told them you loved them. Try to include more words of praise and love when speaking with your children. 
  7. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Mark (1, 7-11);
    ii. A white candle, or if you have the candle used during your child’s baptism
    iii. Cover the table with white cloth
    iv. Photos of the baptism of the different family members; if you have the baptism dress
    v. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  8. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  9. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  10. Be creative 😊
  11. Go to the Prayer Spaces section to continue praying as a family

Have you put down the Christmas decorations yet? Do you know that Christmas time ends today? Today we celebrate the baptism of Jesus. You were still very young when you were baptised, but Jesus was baptised when he was a man. During his baptism something strange happened. Let us listen to the Gospel and see what happened.

  • Jesus is the son of God
  • We too are God’s beloved sons
  • Copies of the picture you are to colour. After reading through the activity plan, decide regarding the number of copies to make
  • Colours
  • Decorations
  • Sticky or double-sided tap
  • Photos or DVD of the children’s baptism

If you look at the photos of your baptism or watch the DVD, you will notice that your baptism and that of Jesus are very different. (Allow the children to look through the photos, or watch a part of the DVD). You were still babies, Jesus was grown up. You were not baptised in the river, but in church. There in fact, very important differences between both baptisms. One thing was the same, and this is very important. During the baptism of Jesus, a voice was heard, and it said: “This is my beloved son.” No voice was heard during our baptism, but we too became children of God. Did you see how happy your parents were during your baptism? God is happy with you, in the same way.

God the Father was happy with Jesus because Jesus is his obedient Son who fully carries out his mission in perfect obedience to His Father. We do not always obey God and yet God still loves us. Nonetheless, He is most pleased with us when we do what is right, such as obeying our parents, helping others, sharing, playing fair, not fighting with others, and many other things. Your parents love to talk to you and they enjoy it when you talk with them. Even God the Father enjoys talking to us and listening to us when we talk to him. We talk with God when we pray. 

Today’s activity will help us remember that we are children of God, that God loves us and he is pleased with us. Everyone has a mirror at home, it may be in the bathroom, in the bedroom or in some other room. When we look at the mirror, we see ourselves. On the mirrors at home, we are going to stick today’s activity picture. Every time we look at the mirror, we will remember that God knows us, God loves us. Print as many as you want to put onto the mirrors, colour them and decorate them as you wish. When ready, stick to the mirrors with tape.

Note to parents: when you are with the children, in front of the mirror, read out the words to them; read out the words even when alone, because, even us adults, we are God’s children, and he is pleased with us.

During the activity, listen to God loves me specially.

Sign of the cross.

Lord God, thank you for loving us, that we are your children. We want to love you and do what is right, like Jesus did.

Pray the Our Father.

Do you know that we are still celebrating Christmas Time? Today it is the last day, and we remember the baptism of Jesus. 

  • God loves us, just as he loves Jesus
  • We are children of God
  • The Holy Spirit helps us to become like Jesus
  • Our baptism day, is very special
  • A photo or picture frame, for size check out the activity to see what is to be included in the frame
  • A photo of the child’s baptism
  • Colours, glitter pens
  • Pencil or something to write with
  • Construction paper, the size of the frame

What would you have done or thought?

Imagine that you and your family, were there with the others, waiting to be baptised by John. You are surrounded by others, who like you, after hearing John’s teachings, you wish to change and start to live the way that John is preaching. Like others, you too, are waiting for the coming of the Messiah. John has often spoken about him. The Messiah was to save the Jews. After some time that you have been there, a man comes along. You have never seen him. Like the rest, he enters the river and waits his turn to be baptised.

What happened when this man from Nazareth was baptised?
What did the people say?
What were your thoughts?
Could it be that this unknown person was the Messiah that you have heard so much about?

Many were waiting for a Messiah to save the Jews from the Romans. So, they could not accept Jesus as the one they were waiting for. Jesus went to be baptised. He did not need to be baptised, but he wanted to be like the rest. For many, this was not the great ruler they were waiting for!

The voice heard during Jesus’ baptism, showed who he really was. This voice said that Jesus was his son, that he loved Jesus and he was pleased with him. 

How do you feel when your parents, grandparents, or someone else tells you that they love you?
How do you feel when someone praises what you do?

Do you know that the words which God the Father told about Jesus, are similar to those He says about us? God the Father loves us because we are his children. God the Father is pleased that we are his children. God was proud of Jesus, his loving and obedient Son. He is also proud of us when we make the right choices.

Can you mention some things which God the Father would be pleased with? (allow the children to give concrete examples)
Can you mention some things which God the Father would not be pleased with? (allow the children to give concrete examples)

We were baptised when we were babies. We do not remember that day; however, we may have seen photos or a DVD of our baptism. Our parents may have spoken about it. Our baptism was a very special occasion. That day we became children of God, we became the children of God, like Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus lived fully the mission which God the Father gave him. The same Spirit assists us so that we may also be obedient to God the Father and live our mission daily.

Do you know your birthday date?
Do you know the date when you were baptised?

The day you were born is important, the day you were baptised is also very important. 

Today’s activity will help you remember your baptism. On the construction paper:

  • write: The day of my baptism is special. I became a child of God.
  • stick the photo of your baptism
  • write the date of your baptism
  • write your name and the names given to you by your godparents
  • the church where you were baptised
  • the name of your godparents

You may decorate around the photograph and even use glitter pens to write.

Put this frame in your room, so that you will always remember who you are: you are special, you are a child of God. God loves you.

Whilst doing this activity listen to, Mighty is your love for me.

On the calendar mark the day of your baptism. On that day go to mass with your family and so something special together to celebrate this day. It would be a good idea to invite your godparents to join you.

Sign of the cross.

Jesus, we want to be like you, so that God the Father is proud of us, like he is proud of you. Holy Spirit fall upon us and give us the wisdom to know how to choose between right and wrong. Give us the courage to say yes to what is right and no to what is wrong. We want to be like Jesus and give glory and praise to God with what we do and say. Amen.

1. In today's Gospel, we come to know a messenger who prophesizes the coming of the Lord, saying that Jesus, who is to come, is much greater than him. Who is this messenger?

Correct! Wrong!

2. What does Jesus receive from John the Baptist in the river Jordan?

Correct! Wrong!

3. What happens when Jesus comes up from the water of the river Jordan?

Correct! Wrong!

4. What did the voice coming from heaven say at the moment of Jesus' baptism?

Correct! Wrong!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.