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Dear friends, 

I draw your attention below to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18-25) and to the new feast of the Sunday of the Word of God (Jan 26). 

A three-fold theophany

In the old liturgical tradition, three feasts in sequence went under the heading of "theophany": the Epiphany proper, the Baptism and the wedding feast of Cana. This tradition is honoured in the current three-year cycle. Because the Cana story is read in Year C, we hear this year from John 1:29-34.

The narratives in John 1:19-51 are unlikely to be straight history as they stand (for example, the Baptist's lack of knowledge about Jesus is evident in Luke 7:18-23 and Matthew 11:2-15). Instead, these accounts are incredibly rich in theology, making them suitable for this third "theophany Sunday." 

For example, the very first words spoken about Jesus on the lips of John the Baptist serve to usher in a theme of incalculable significance across the entire Gospel of John —Jesus as the Lamb of God. 

The Baptism of Jesus continued (19 January 2020)
Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (Portable)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2020 (January 18-25)
Resources for this celebration may be found here. On the national television service in Ireland (RTE), the service is under the direction of the Ecumenical Bible Week team from the Dublin area. RTE television, 11.00 or 11.10 am on the 19th of January 2020.  

Sunday of the Word of God (26 January 2020)

The Holy Father recently established a new Sunday of the Word of God. In the diocese, we have prepared parish resources for the feast, including a newsletter and materials for preaching. 

To access the Dublin diocesan resources, go to Word of God Sunday. The Irish Bishops' Conference also offers a range of resources, including practical suggestions for honouring the Scripture. 


Some musical inspiration: the Lamb of God
For a moving setting of the Agnus Dei by Josquin, click here.


Wishing you every blessing, 




Dr Kieran J. O'Mahony OSA


World Meeting of Families




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