‘When a baby cries because he or she is hungry, to the mommies, I say: if your child is hungry, feed them here, with complete freedom.’
Pope Francis gave this advice to the mothers present in the Sistine Chapel this morning, during the Mass he celebrated for the feast of Jesus’ Baptism in the River Jordan by his cousin, John the Baptist. Following tradition, the Pontiff, in the space where he was elected Successor of Peter, baptized babies, specifically 26 newborns, half boys, half girls, this last Sunday of the Christmas season.
In his brief homily, which welcomed some cries in the background, the Pope reflected on how Mary and Joseph took Baby Jesus to the Temple to present Him to God and how the parents present in front of him in the frescoed chapel with their babies were there for the same purpose: passing down the faith.
A Chain in Time
When parents make passing down the faith the priority, Francis noted, it subsequently is transmitted from generation to generation, “like a chain,” in the course of time.
“These baby boys and girls, over the years, will take your place with another child – your grandchildren – and they’ll ask the same thing: the faith. The faith that Baptism gives us. The faith that the Holy Spirit bears in the heart, soul, and in the life of your children,” he said.
“Finally, do not forget that the greatest inheritance that you can give your children is faith,” the Pope said, stressing, “Be careful that this is not lost, so it can grow and leave a legacy.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying that in this joyous day, he wishes that the parents present are able to make their children grow and remain in faith, continuing to pass down the ‘greatest inheritance.’
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