Skip to comments.Pope Francis: Our baptism gives us a new and glorious hope
Posted on 01/08/2014 4:01:38 AM PST by markomalley
Pope Francis on Wednesday reflected on the great gift we received when we were baptized.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peters 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 Christs saving work present in history, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And speaking of Baptism, the first of the Churchs 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 Gods 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 Gods 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 Churchs 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.
In Baptism "we are immersed in the inexhaustible source of life that is the death of Jesus" and this is why the first sacrament "is not just a formality", a rite for the naming of a child but "an act which deeply touches our lives . A child who is baptized is not the same as a non- baptized child, a baptized person is not the same as a non-baptized person".
Renewing the grace of Baptism, by which "we can live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, sin and death, but in communion with God and with our brothers " was the theme of Pope Francis' General Audience the first of the New Year, together with 50 thousand people present in St Peter's Square. As is tradition the Pope made a lengthy tour of St Peter's Square, stopping to pick up a priest whom he probably recognised and making him accompany him on the jeep to the steps of the raised dais before the façade of St. Peters, where Pope Francis alighted. There, before the beginning of the audience there was a brief display by circus performers.
With today's audience, the Pope announced the beginning of a series of catechesis dedicated to the sacraments, the first of which is dedicated to Baptism, "the sacrament on which our faith is founded, to engages us as living members in Christ and in his Church. Together with Communion and Confirmation it forms so-called "Christian Initiation ", which is like one big sacramental event that configures us to God and makes us a living sign of His presence and His love".
The Pope then once again asked those present if they remembered the date of their baptism and gave them a piece of advice. Or rather a "task". He asked them to look up the date of their Baptism when they go home today, "ask what the date of your Baptism was and thus you will know the date of this beautiful day". "Because this means knowing the date of a beautiful day".
"Many of us - he continued - have not the slightest recollection of the celebration of this sacrament , and it is obvious, if we were baptized shortly after our birth". There is therefore "the risk of loosing consciousness of what the Lord has done in us, the gift we have received". Of reducing it to being an event from the past that "no longer has any effect on the present. We must renew the memory of our Baptism: renew the memory of our Baptism. We are called to live our baptism every day, as a current reality in our lives. If we follow Jesus and remain in the Church, despite our limitations, and our weaknesses and our sins, it is because of this very Sacrament in which we have become new creatures and we were vested in Christ".
"It is by virtue of Baptism that, freed from original sin, we became part of Jesus' relationship with God the Father, that we are the bearers of a new hope, because Baptism gives us this new hope : the hope of travelling on the road of salvation, all life long. And nothing and no one can quench this hope, because this hope does not disappoint. Remember: This is true. Hope in the Lord never disappoints. Through baptism, we are able to forgive and to love even those who offend and hurt us; may we recognize the face of the Lord who visits and is close to us in the needy and poor. And this, Baptism, helps us to recognize in the faces of the needy, the suffering, even in our neighbor , the face of Jesus, thanks to this power of Baptism".
The Pope highlighted that "no one can baptize themselves! No-one. We can ask for it, desire it, but we always need someone to confer this sacrament on us in the name of the Lord. Because Baptism is a gift given in a context of concern and fraternal sharing. Always throughout history, one person baptizes the other , the other , the other ... it's a chain. A chain of grace. But, I can not baptize on my own: I have to ask another person for Baptism. It is an act of brotherhood, an act of affiliation to the Church. During the celebration of the Baptism we can recognize the most genuine features of the Church, which like a Mother continues to generate new children in Christ, in the fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit".
Thank-you for the posting of this article. God Bless.
Roots in Paradise (RIP)
Thats what I want on my tombstone Roots in Paradise. I will die I know that. But that is not what Im thinking about now. My thoughts, plans, and actions are built on living.
I have been immersed in a study of David and of the Revelation of John as of late, and this has helped focus my vision. David never worked to get the throne God had said it would happen so David could wait, endure, and forego all thoughts or vengeance. And in Revelation we get to see God in total control, all things working toward His plan and the vengeance is, indeed, His alone. As I work on these enduring principles God is in control and I can wait I find myself being rooted more and more in the life to come in Paradise. Now dont get me wrong, theres nothing wrong with living in this life I really love it! But putting down roots now thats another thing all together. Because I have learned that I am changed by the soil from which I pull my sustenance. The soil of this earth turns my heart towards apathy, restlessness, envy, anger, revenge, and self. It really cannot be helped. We are what nourishes us. So as long as I am nourished by the soil of this earth, I am fighting a losing battle a battle I cannot win.
But put those roots in the soil of Paradise and these things simple begin to fade away. This soil yields compassion, peace, contentment, love, patience, and yes Joy! Now this is a foundation upon which I can truly build my thoughts, plans, and actions for living. Not because this world does not matter but because it matters so much that I dont have to concern myself with outcomes that is Heavens concern. I just concern myself with today.
Sounds like a cop-out, doesnt it? I can have it all now AND in the life to come? But that is just what we are promised. I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full. These are not my words, but His. Im just trying to figure out how that happens. And it all has to do with roots and the soil they are planted in.
So how does this transplant happen? It starts with Baptism. In Baptism I die (am uprooted) to take root (am transplanted) into Paradise my new home. But as soon as the service is over, I start putting down roots once again in the earth. Its the way of the world how can I avoid it? David did (for most of his life) and John saw it. Its the assurance of things hoped for, the promise of things to come. And this must be my vision my focus my future. As long as I can maintain this, my roots stay firmly in place. Then, and only then, can I truly live the life I was given to live in this world.
It all starts with a simple principle one guaranteed to work every time keeping my Roots in Paradise! Thats what I want on my tombstone.
Catholic baptism. Sadly what I believe to be one of the glaring flaws of the folks. “baptized babies not the same as unbaptized babies”?
Baptism is obedience. The grace we receive is not from baptism, the grace we receive is why we obey and get baptized.
Scripture please? I’m probably just missing something.
That is why in the Catholic Church there is also the sacrament of confirmation, when that baby is a young person, it is inclusion of the obedience part.
You guys are all over the map...
thanks to this Sacrament we have all become new creatures in Christ, temples of the Spirit, adoptive children of the Father
You receive the Spirit at baptism...You receive the Spirit at confirmation...You receive Jesus when you eat the wafer...And then, I've read from numerous sources that only the clergy receive the Spirit...
Would you care to tell us which one is true???
1 Peter 2:9
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
9” But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods own people,[a] in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Was confirmed myself at 14 and was not yet doing anything but jumping through the hoops as a Catholic. I was, along with ALL my friends that I have spoken with, obeying my parents and teachers, not Scripture. This practice can be quite misleading. AND it is not supported by NT Scripture as far as I have been able to find out. It does, however, seem very much in line with Judaism.
That doesn't at all answer the question I asked...