Sunday, January 15, 2017

Spirituality: “Feast of the Baptism of Jesus” by Pope (Saint) John XXIII

You also, O Jesus, were immersed in the river of Jordan, under the eyes of the crowd, although very few then were able to recognize you; and this mystery of tardy faith, or of indifference, prolonged through the centuries, is a source of grief for those who love you and have received the mission of making you known in the world.

O, grant to the successors of your apostles and disciples and to all who call themselves after your Name and your Cross, to press on with the work of spreading the Gospel, and to bear witness to it in prayer, suffering, and loving obedience to your will!

And since you, an innocent lamb, came before John in the attitude of a sinner, so draw us also into the waters of the Jordan. To the Jordan we will go to confess our sins and cleanse our souls. And as the skies open to announce the voice of your Father, expressing his pleasure in you, so, having successfully overcome our trial and lived austerely through the forty days of Lent, may we, O Jesus, when the day of your Resurrection dawns, hear once more in our innermost hearts the same heavenly Father’s voice, recognizing us as his children.

May this prayer rise from every house where people work, love, and suffer. May the angels of heaven gather the prayers of all the souls of little children, of generous-hearted young men and women, of hard-working and self-sacrificing parents, and of all who suffer in body and mind and present their prayers to God. From him will flow down in abundance the gifts of his heavenly joys.

Source: Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII: His Personal Thoughts for Every Day of the Year, pp. 27-28; adapted slightly.