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‘No ambition except to do good’ – thoughts on the Baptism of The Lord

Some thoughts on the Feast of the Baptism of The Lord.

By Mgr Alban FSDM

OXYGEN VOLUME 13When at school, most of us have been asked, ‘What’s your ambition? What do you want to be when you grow up?’ It’s a question that never really goes away. All through life, those around us, ask us it in various contexts, be it at the beginning of a new job, at a job interview, or even whilst studying a new subject at university.

This morning at Mass we heard read a simple thought from St Paul to St Titus,

‘[Jesus] sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.’

What a joy it would be if we could answer that we ‘have no ambition except to do good’. I don’t believe that St Paul was telling us not to aim to be the best that we can be, but that in all things we must act in order to do good.

Our blessed Lord, whose baptism we celebrate today, was baptised with water and then recognised by the Father in heaven coming down as the Holy Spirit. Like Him, we have been baptised by water and the Holy Spirit, and by this adopted by God as His children. Let us endeavour to show that inward adoption in an outward manner in our lives throughout the week ahead and on into the rest of our lives.

There are many in our society who appear to have no ambition, for whom ambition seems to have evaporated. In Belfast there are many young men who have little opportunity for work, and thus have plenty of time on their hands. We have seen on our television screens this week what can happen when a community lack ambition – especially the ambition to do good. Rioting, burning cars, attacking the police, and attacking people with whom you do not share political opinion, is not doing good. Let us pray that everyone involved in the political strife that is in Northern Ireland at this time seeks to do good.

O God, whose Only Begotten Son, has appeared in our very flesh, grant, we pray, that we may be inwardly transformed through him whom we recognise as outwardly like ourselves. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


  1. Readings at Mass: Isaiah 40.1–5, 9–11; Titus 2.11-14, 3.4-7; St Luke 3.14–16, 21–22. (Year C)
  2. My apologies that this is shorter than normal, but I have been unwell for some days and am still under the weather at present. Of your charity, please pray for my recovery.
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