Baptism is the reason for our hope, and it should inspire us to give off our light even in the most mundane or difficult moments throughout daily life.
Pope Francis emphasized this during his weekly General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, today, August 2, 2017, inside due to the great August heat. During the weekly audience, which marked his first since the annual July break, Francis continued his catecheses on Christian hope, reflecting specifically this week on Baptism.
What It Means to Be Christians
“What does it mean to be Christians?” the Pope asked. “It means to look at the light, to continue to make the profession of faith in the light, including when the world is enveloped by night and darkness,” he responded.
Christians, he expressed, are not exempt from darkness, external and also internal. They don’t live outside of the world, however, he continued, “by the grace of Christ received in Baptism, they are “oriented” men and women.”
“They don’t believe in darkness, but in the light of day; they do not succumb to the night, but wait for the dawn; they are not defeated by death, but long to rise again; they are not bowed by evil, because they always trust in the infinite possibility of the good.”
This, the Pope stressed, is our Christian hope: “the light of Jesus, the salvation that Jesus brings us with His light, which saves us from the darkness.”
“We are those that believe that God is Father: this is the light!” the Pope said, reminding: “We are not orphans, we have a Father and our Father is God.”
The Hope of Every Morning
“This is the hope to which we wake up again every morning! We believe that every affection, every friendship, every good desire, every love, even the most minute and neglected, will find their fulfilment one day in God: this is the force that drives us to embrace enthusiastically our everyday life!”
This hope to live in hope and to live in the light of the Trinity, the Holy Father stressed, pushes us to go on in life.
Remember the Date?
The most beautiful exhortation we can address to one another is that of reminding ourselves always of our Baptism. I would like to ask you: how many of you remember the date of your Baptism?
Don’t answer because some might be embarrassed! Think about it and if you don’t remember it, you have a task to do at home today: go to your mother, your father, your aunt, your uncle your grandmother, grandfather and ask them: “What was the date of my Baptism?” And never forget it again! Is this clear? Will you do it?
Urging that all commit today to learn or to remember the date of Baptism, “which is the date of rebirth and of light,” the Jesuit Pope reminded the pilgrims we were born twice: the first to natural life; the second, thanks to the encounter with Christ, in the baptismal font. “There, we in some way died, to live as children of God in this world,” he said.
The Little Things
“What a grace when a Christian truly becomes a “Christ-bearer” in the world,” the Pope said noting one sees this through the little things: “by the light that a Christian keeps in his eyes, by the background of serenity which is not even affected in the most complicated days, by the desire to begin to love again even when one has experienced many disappointments.”
Before concluding, the Pope encouraged those gathered to contemplate: “In the future, when the history of our days is written, what will be said of us? That we were capable of hope or that we put our light under the bushel?”
Pope Francis concluded, stressing that if we are faithful to our Baptism, we will spread the light of hope.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Text of General Audience: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-general-audience-on/