POPE FRANCIS: OUR BAPTISM GIVES US A NEW AND GLORIOUS HOPE
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday reflected on the great gift we received when we were baptized.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience, the Pope began a series of catecheses on the Sacraments, starting with Baptism.
He said that the Second Vatican Council tells us that the Church herself is a “Sacrament”, a grace-filled sign which makes Christ’s saving work present in history, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And speaking of Baptism, the first of the Church’s seven Sacraments, Pope Francis said “it gives us new birth in Christ, makes us sharers in the mystery of his death and resurrection, grants the forgiveness of sin and brings us new freedom as God’s children and members of his Church”.
He urged us not to forget the great gift we have received. “Our baptism has changed us, given us a new and glorious hope, and empowered us to bring God’s redeeming love to all, particularly the poor, in whom we see the face of Christ. Our baptism has also given us a share in the Church’s mission of evangelization; as disciples, we are also missionaries”
The Pope said “as we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday, let us ask him to renew in us the grace of our Baptism and to make us, with all our brothers and sisters, true children of God and living members of his body, the Church”.
And through speakers in different languages, the Pope turned to our brothers and sisters from the Middle East, and in particular from Syria, inviting them to remember the day of their Baptism and to celebrate it because thanks to this Sacrament “we have all become new creatures in Christ, temples of the Spirit, adoptive children of the Father, members of the Church, brothers in faith and announcers of the Gospel, capable of forgiving and loving all, even our enemies”.