At the Angelus on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis invokes "the maternal protection of the Mother of God" for the children baptized this morning and for those recently baptized. "The great humility of Jesus", his readiness "to immerse himself in the river of humanity, to take upon himself the shortcomings and weaknesses of men". "It is the Spirit who opens the eyes of the heart to the truth, the whole truth". Remember the date of our baptism. Greetings to the faithful from South Korea.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Today's feast of the baptism of the Lord ... invites us to think of our baptism", not to consider it only "a fact that happened in the past", but "the binding identity card of the believer". These are the main points of Pope Francis’ reflection before the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. Earlier this morning, Francis celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel, administering baptism to 34 babies. After the Marian prayer, he recalled this event and invoked "the maternal protection of the Mother of God” on those children "and on all the children who have recently been baptized", so that, “helped by the example of their parents, and godparents, they grow up as disciples of the Lord".
In his reflection, referring to the Gospel of today's Mass (Mark 1, 7-11), Francis emphasized above all "the great humility of Jesus": " the One who had not sinned, in lining up with the penitents, mingled among them to be baptized in the waters of the river. In doing so, He manifested what we celebrated at Christmas: the availability of Jesus to immerse Himself in the river of humanity, to take upon Himself the shortcomings and weaknesses of humanity, to share our desire to be free and to overcome everything that separates us from God and makes us strangers to our brothers and sisters".
He then underlined the value of the Holy Spirit: " The Spirit is the creator of the baptism of Jesus and also of our baptism. It is the Spirit who opens the eyes of the heart to the truth, the whole truth. It is the Spirit who drives our lives along the path of charity. It is the Spirit who is the gift the Father has given each of us on the day of our baptism. It is the Spirit who transmits to us the tenderness of divine forgiveness. And it is still the Holy Spirit, who causes the revealing Word of the Father to resound: "You are my beloved Son: in you I am well pleased" (v. 11) ".
Hence the importance of "remembering one's baptism": "To forget our baptism means to expose ourselves to the risk of losing our memory of what the Lord has done in us. We risk ending up considering it only as something that happened in the past, … Thanks to Baptism, we are also able to forgive and love those who offend us and do us harm; we are able to recognize in the last and in the poor the face of the Lord who visits us and is close to us. In short, more than a sociological moment that inscribes our name in the parish register, the day of our baptism constitutes a commitment and the identity card of the believer".
He added: "I cannot ask you if you remember your baptism, because we were young. ... But you know, do you know what day you were baptized on? Everyone think about it. And if you do not know go home, ask mom, dad, grandparents. It is an important date, never to be forgotten. It is the date of our sanctification, of the feast of the great forgiveness ... ".
Among the final greetings, the Pope mentioned in particular "faithful from South Korea".