Speak Lord: In your people and for your people.

Font Hildesheim Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germany
There are a range of alternative readings proposed for Sunday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The first alternative for the song in response to the first reading is a canticle from Isaiah: the rejoicing of a redeemed people

 

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Truly, God is my salvation,
I trust, I shall not fear.
For the Lord is my strength, my song,
he became my saviour.
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
Declare the greatness of his name.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Sing a psalm to the Lord
for he has done glorious deeds;
make them known to all the earth!
People of Zion, sing and shout for joy,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12

The canticle unites personal declaration of love for the Lord, and gratitude to him (cf verse 1), with exhortation to the community to give prayer to him, in a single song by which, together, the community does just that. The canticle is a rhetorical wonder!

Yet, some who sing it on Sunday will fear, will feel they do not trust, and they may not have joy in their song. Yet their singing too will be an act of faith. The Liturgy rehearses us in the emotions and attitudes which may not yet be ‘mine’ but which are still ‘ours’.

It is the font from which we draw the Christian spirit.

  • If, this day, you are strong in faith, pray for those who are struggling.
  • If struggling, know that this day the Church prays for you.

The baptism of Christ from the font of Hildesheim Cathedral, Germany. Photograph of cast in the Cast Courts, Victoria and Albert Museum. (C) 2015, Allen Morris

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