Source: Vatican News
On Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - in an annual tradition - Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel, and baptised 32 babies, all born in the past year to families of Vatican employees and diplomats accredited to the Holy See.
In his homily, immediately before the Baptism, Pope Francis recalled the words of Jesus when asked by John why the Lord was coming to him to be baptised: "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all justice… Baptising a child is an act of justice," the Pope said, "because in Baptism we give him or her a treasure, we give them a pledge: the Holy Spirit." He said it is important to baptize children, "so that they grow up with the power of the Holy Spirit."
He also urged the parents "to take care that they grow up with the light, with the power of the Holy Spirit, through catechesis, assistance, teaching, the example you give at home."
Pope Francis told the young families not to worry if their children started to make a fuss during the ceremonies. "The children aren't used to coming to the Sistine Chapel. It's their first time..If they do start to cry.. try to make them comfortable, but don't worry if they keep it up. Children are choral.. If one starts making noise, they all join in. "Don't get upset!" he said. "When a child cries in church, it's a beautiful homily."
The Pope concluded: "Don't forget. You bear the Holy Spirit within the children."
Later, during the Angelus with pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope reminded to those present that in the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we rediscover our own Baptism.
"Just as Jesus is the Father's beloved Son," he said, "we too, reborn by water and the Holy Spirit, know that we are beloved children, the object of the Father's pleasure, brothers and sisters among many other brothers and sisters, entrusted with a grand mission to witness and proclaim the Father's boundless love to all men and women."
For those who don't know when they were baptised, he once again suggested "a homework assignment" - to find out the date of their baptism. And then, he called on them to celebrate the date of their Baptism every year, reminding everyone that this "is also a duty of justice to the Lord who has been so good to us."
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