Each year, you are to celebrate in your heart, the date of your Baptism.
Pope Francis gave this ‘duty to the Lord’, as he called it, today, Jan.12, during his midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Continuing the annual tradition on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Holy Father baptized today babies in the Sistine Chapel.
During this morning’s Mass, the Pontiff baptized 32 (17 boys and 15 baby girls), where he reminded parents the great importance and their responsibility of passing down the faith. He also reminded the parents to not be concerned about babies being noisy or crying, and not to hesitate, given they could be warm or hungry, to take off some layers, or nurse them. In today’s Angelus, Francis recalled his eventful morning.
Before reciting the midday prayer, Francis said that the feast of Jesus’ Baptism makes us rediscover our own Baptism. “As Jesus is the beloved Son of the Father,” he said, “we are also reborn of Water and the Holy Spirit and we know we are loved children — the Father loves us all!”
After all, he stressed, “we are the object of God’s pleasure, brothers of many other brothers, invested with a great mission to witness and proclaim to all men the boundless love of the Father.”
This feast of the Baptism of Jesus, the Pontiff said, reminds us of our Baptism.
Celebrate in Your Heart Every Year Your Baptism Date
“We were also reborn in Baptism. In Baptism,” he stressed, “the Holy Spirit came to abide in us. Therefore, it’s important to know the date of our Baptism. We know the date of our birth, but we don’t always know the date of our Baptism. Certainly, some of you don’t know it . . . [Here’s] a task to do at home.”
“When you go back home,” Francis said, “ask: when was I baptized? And celebrate in your heart every year the date of your Baptism. Do it.”
“It’s also a duty of justice to the Lord, who has been so good to us,” the Pope reminded.
Pope Francis concluded, praying that “May Mary Most Holy help us to understand increasingly the gift of our Baptism and live it coherently in the situations of the every day.” He also reminded those present to pray for him and wishing them a good day and lunch.
Here is a full translation, by ZENIT translator, Virginia Forrester, of the Pope’s Angelus address:
* * *
Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Once again, I’ve had the joy of baptizing some children on today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Today there were thirty-two. Let us pray for them and for their families. This year’s liturgy proposes to us the event of Jesus’ Baptism according to the account of Matthew’s Gospel (Cf. 3:13-17). The evangelist describes the dialogue between Jesus, who asks for Baptism, and John the Baptist, who wishes to prevent Him and says: “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” (v. 14). This decision of Jesus surprised the Baptist. In fact, the Messiah isn’t in need of being purified; instead, it’s He who purifies. However, God is the Holy One, His ways aren’t our <ways>, and Jesus is God’s Way, an unpredictable way. Let us remember that God is the God of surprises.
John had declared that between him and Jesus — “whose sandals I am not worthy to carry,” (Matthew 3:11) he said –, an abysmal, unbridgeable distance existed. However, the Son of God came in fact to bridge this distance between man and God. If Jesus is all on God’s side He is also on man’s side, and reunites what was divided. Therefore, He replies to John: “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness” (v.15). The Messiah asks to be baptized, so that all righteousness is fulfilled, <so that> the Father’s plan is realized, which passes through the way of filial obedience and solidarity with fragile and sinful man. It’s the way of humility and of full closeness of God to His children. The prophet Isaiah also proclaims the righteousness of the Servant of God, who carries out his mission in the world in a style that is opposite to the worldly spirit: “He will not cry or lift up His voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench” (42:2-3). It’s the attitude of meekness — this is what Jesus teaches us with His humility — meekness –, the attitude of simplicity, of respect, of moderation and of hiddenness, required also today of the Lord’s disciples. How many — it’s sad to say it — how many of the Lord’s disciples strut about being disciples of the Lord. A disciple that struts isn’t a good disciple. A good disciple is one who is humble, meek, who does good without being seen. In the missionary endeavour, the Christian community is called to go to encounter others always proposing and not imposing, giving witness, sharing people’s concrete life.
No sooner Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, that the Heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit alighted on Him like a dove, while a voice from heaven resounded saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). On the feast of Jesus’ Baptism, we rediscover our Baptism. As Jesus is the beloved Son of the Father, we are also reborn of Water and the Holy Spirit and we know we are loved children — the Father loves us all! — we are the object of God’s pleasure, brothers of many other brothers, invested with a great mission to witness and proclaim to all men the boundless love of the Father.
This feast of the Baptism of Jesus reminds us of our Baptism. We were also reborn in Baptism. In Baptism, the Holy Spirit came to abide in us. Therefore, it’s important to know the date of our Baptism. We know the date of our birth, but we don’t always know the date of our Baptism. Certainly, some of you don’t know it . . . a task to do at home. When you go back home ask: when was I baptized? And celebrate in your heart every year the date of your Baptism. Do it. It’s also a duty of justice to the Lord, who has been so good to us.
May Mary Most Holy help us to understand increasingly the gift of our Baptism and live it coherently in the situations of the every day.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus:
My warm welcome goes to all of you, dear Romans and pilgrims: to the families, the parish groups, the Associations and the individual faithful.
I greet the young people of the Focolare Movement from Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay and Korea, gathered in Rome for a course of formation on the 100 years of the birth of the Servant of God Chiara Lubich.
I greet the faithful of Otranto and the “Alma Gaudia” choir of Manduria.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]