Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Baptism of the Lord

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 2:23-29
Mass: Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Resp Ps 29; Ac 10:34-38 or, in Year C, Is 40:1-5, 9-11; Resp Ps 104; Tt 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Lk 3:15-16, 21-22

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.

Pope Francis baptized 27 newborn babies at Mass this morning! Later, at the Angelus Prayer, he posed a question to the crowd gathered in St Peter's Square: 'Which of you knows the date of your baptism?' I do, I do! I had been reflecting these days on the greatest gift my parents gave me. Without a doubt it was having me baptized when I was 20 days old. I seemed to have hit the mark as the Holy Father tweeted: Baptism is the best gift we have received. Through it, we belong to God and we possess the joy of salvation. In baptism, as the Holy Father told parents of the newborns, we receive the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith into our hearts and souls. There is no greater gift that parents can give their children, that is, to ask the Church for faith for your children and have them baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them' (Ep 2:8-10).

Today let us do honor to Christ's baptism and celebrate this feast with holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men and women, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all humanity, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received-though not in its fullness-a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be the glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
(St Gregory of Nazianzus)

Baptism saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.
(1 P 3:21-22)

May Jesus, who saved us not through any merit of our own but in order to demonstrate the immense goodness of the Father, make us merciful toward everyone.
(Pope Francis, Angelus Address, January 13, 2019)

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