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Sunday’s Reading: Christ’s Baptism (Mk 1) – 5 Quotes from the Fathers

Sunday’s Reading: Christ’s Baptism (Mk 1) – 5 Quotes from the Fathers
Complement your discussions and meditations on today’s Sunday Reading with 5 quotes from the fathers of the Church. Today, at Mass, St. Mark takes us to the banks of the Jordan where St. John the Baptist preaches repentance and preparation for Christ’s coming, and then Christ Himself stepping forward to receive his baptism.

Inspiring commentary today from St. Gregory the Great, Theophylact, St. Bede, St. Jerome and St. John Chrysostom. Legwork complementary of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Gospel Reading: 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time: Mark 1:7-11
  1. St. Mark the Evangelist
    And thus he preached, “One is to come after me who is mightier than I, so that I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his shoes. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And even as he came up out of the water he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down and resting upon him. There was a voice, too, out of heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”

    St. Mark the Evangelist

  2. St. Gregory the Great
    It was a custom among the ancients, that if a man refused to take as his wife the woman whom he ought to take, he who offered himself as her husband by right of kindred took off that man’s shoe. Rightly then does he proclaim himself unworthy to loose his shoe-latchet, as if he said openly, I cannot make bare the feet of the Redeemer, for I usurp not the name of the Bridegroom, a thing which is above my deserts.

    Gregory the Great

  3. Theophylact
    The baptism of John had not remissions of sins, but only brought men to penitence. He preached therefore the baptism of repentance, that is, he preached that to which the baptism of penitence led, namely, remission of sins, that they who in penitence received Christ, might receive Him to the remission of their sins.


  4. Bede
    The same voice has taught us, that we also, by the water of cleansing, and by the Spirit of sanctification, may he made the sons of God. The mystery of the Trinity also is shown forth in the baptism; the Son is baptized, the Spirit comes down in the shape of a dove, the voice of the Father bearing witness to the Son is heard.

    St. Bede

  5. jerome
    For what is the difference between water and the Holy Ghost, who was borne over the face of the waters? Water is the ministry of man; but the Spirit is ministered by God.

    St. Jerome

  6. John Chrysostom
    Forasmuch as he was ordaining a new baptism, He came to the baptism of John, which, in respect of His own baptism, was incomplete, but different from the Jewish baptism, as being between both. He did this that He might show, by the nature of His baptism, that He was not baptized for the remission of sins, nor as wanting the reception of the Holy Ghost: for the baptism of John was destitute of both these. But He was baptized that He might be made known to all, that they might believe on Him and fulfill all righteousness, which is keeping of the commandments: for it had been commanded to men that they should submit to the prophet’s baptism.

    St. John Chrysostom


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