The Lectionary of the Church, in a careful and deliberate way, offers a rich selection of passages from the sacred scriptures for God’s people to ponder and savour. The choice gives the reader the opportunity to reflect on the Liturgical seasons, on the insights of the individual inspired writers, and on the faith of the Church expressed there; they also offer the listener (and preacher) the chance to use these readings to help interpret the ‘signs of the times’ in the contemporary world. Underlying these aspects of the word of God is always the assumption that the word is given to us to challenge us – to call those who hear it and ponder it to a more faithful living of the Christian calling. The reflections that follow are offered with that understanding, and with the hope that they might encourage readers to enter even more deeply into the living word of God. The first Sundays in this period are the great manifestation feasts of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord – reminding us clearly who it is whom we gather to encounter at the Eucharist.

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