St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Catechesis on Baptism. 6: Covered of Christ
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today we conclude the cycle of catechesis on Baptism. The spiritual effects of this sacrament, invisible to the eyes but operative in the heart of those who have become new creatures, are made explicit by the delivery of the white garment and the lighted candle.
After the regeneration washing, able to recreate the man according to God in true holiness (cf. Eph 4:24), it seemed natural, from the first centuries, to dress the newly baptized with a new, candid garment, like the splendor of life. achieved in Christ and in the Holy Spirit. The white garment, while symbolically expressing what happened in the sacrament, announces the condition of the transfigured in divine glory.
What does it mean to clothe himself with Christ, St. Paul reminds him by explaining the virtues that the baptized must cultivate: "Chosen by God, saints and beloved, clothe yourselves with sentiments of tenderness, goodness, humility, meekness, magnanimity, enduring to each other and forgive one another. But above all these things, clothe yourselves with charity, which unites them in a perfect way "(Col 3: 12-14).
The ritual delivery of the flame drawn from the Paschal candle also recalls the effect of Baptism: "Receive the light of Christ," says the priest. These words remind us that we are not the light, but the light is Jesus Christ (Jn 1: 9, 12, 46), who, having risen from the dead, has conquered the darkness of evil. We are called to receive its splendor! As the flame of the paschal candle gives light to individual candles, so the love of the Risen Lord inflames the hearts of the baptized, filling them with light and heat. And for this reason, since the first centuries Baptism was also called "enlightenment" and what was baptized was called "the enlightened one".
This is indeed the Christian vocation: "to always walk as children of light, persevering in faith" (cf. Rite of the Christian initiation of adults, No. 226, Jn 12: 36). When it comes to children, it is the task of parents, together with godparents and godmothers, to take care to nourish the flame of baptismal grace in their children, helping them to persevere in faith (cf. Rite of the Baptism of Children, No. 73). "Christian education is a children's right; it tends to gradually guide them to know God's plan in Christ: thus they can personally ratify the faith in which they were baptized "(ibid., Introduction, 3).
The living presence of Christ, to be guarded, defended and expanded in us, is a lamp that illuminates our steps, light that orients our choices, a flame that warms hearts in going to meet the Lord, making us able to help those who make the way with us, until the inseparable communion with him. On that day, the Apocalypse still says, "there will be no more night, and we will no longer need light of lamp or sunlight, because the Lord God will enlighten us. And we will reign forever and ever "(cf. 22: 5).
The celebration of Baptism ends with the prayer of our Father, proper to the community of the children of God. In fact, the children born again in Baptism will receive the fullness of the gift of the Spirit in Confirmation and will participate in the Eucharist, learning what it means to turn to God calling him "Father".
At the end of these catecheses on Baptism, I repeat to each of you the invitation that I have expressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate: "Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit on a path of holiness. Let everything be open to God and for that purpose choose Him, choose God always again. Do not be discouraged, because you have the power of the Holy Spirit to be possible, and holiness, after all, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life (cf. Gal 5,22-23) »(No. 15).
J'accueille avec plaisir les pèlerins provenant de France, de Suisse, and d'autres pays francophones. Je salue en particulier les jeunes ainsi que les pèlerins du diocèse du Mans. Chers frères et sœurs, je souhaite que la grâce de votre baptême fructifie en chacun de vous en un chemin de sainteté. Que Dieu vous bénisse!
[I welcome the pilgrims from France, Switzerland and other Francophone countries. I greet in particular the young people and the pilgrims from the Diocese of Le Mans. Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that the grace of your baptism is fruitful in each of you and supports your path of holiness. God bless you!]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's Audience, especially those from Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, Mauritius, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families. May the Lord bless you all!
[I greet the English-speaking pilgrims present at the Hearing today, especially those from Scotland, Ireland Egypt, Mauritius, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the merciful love of God our Father. The Lord blesses you!] Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Teilen wir mit den Brüdern und Schwestern die Flamme des Glaubens auf unserem Weg hin zur Begegnung mit Christus. So können wir denen helfen, die un unterwegs sind bis zur unauflöslichen Gemeinschaft with Jesus im Haus des Vaters. Gott marks euch alle. [With affection I greet the pilgrims from the German-speaking countries. On our journey to meet the Lord, we share the flame of faith with all our brothers and sisters. In this way we will be able to help those who follow the same path with us, until the inseparable communion with Jesus in the Father's house. God bless you all.]
Saludo especialmente to los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Los invitation to poner los medios necesarios para que la gracia of bautism crezca y fructifique en sus vidas. No if desalienten ante las dificultades y busquen to Dios a y o ve vez, porque el Espíritu Santo from the fuerza necesaria para alcanzar la santidad en middle de las circunstancias que les toca vivir cada día. Que Dios los bendiga. Muchas gracias. Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, especially aos aposentados from «Associação de Amizade Itália-Brasil» and restantes grupos brasileiros. Queridos amigos, todos os batizados estão chamados to ser discípulos missionários, living and transmitindo a fé. Em todas as circunstâncias, procurai oferecer um testemunho alegre from vossa fé. Que Deus vos abençoe and in Virgem Mãe vos proteja!
[I address a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, in particular to the pensioners of the "Italy-Brazil Friendship Association" and to the other Brazilian groups. Dear friends, all the baptized are called to be missionary disciples who live and transmit the faith. In all circumstances, try to give a joyful testimony of your faith. God bless you and the Virgin Mother protect you!]
أرحب بالحجاج الناطقين باللغة العربية, وخاصة بسفير جمهورية مصر العربية لدى إيطاليا مع جميع العاملين في السفارة وأرحب أيضا بوفد المؤمنين الأقباط القادمين من أبرشية الأقصر. أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء, اسمحوا لنعمة معموديتكم أن تثمر في مسيرة قداسة. لا تفقدوا العزيمة, لأن هذا الأمر ممكن بقوة الروح القدس. ليبارككم الرب! [I extend a cordial welcome to the Arab-speaking pilgrims, in particular to the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Italy with all the staff of the Embassy, and to the delegation of the Community of the Coptic Church of the Diocese of Luxor! Dear brothers and sisters, let the grace of your baptism bear fruit on a journey of holiness. Do not be discouraged, this will be possible with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord blesses you!] Pozdrawiam pielgrzymów polskich, a szczególnie weteranów II wojny światowej, przybyłych na obchody rocznicy bitwy or Monte Cassino. Smutno ... wspominać wojny ... Ubiegły wiek, dwie wielkie wojny; a teraz ... nie nauczymy się nigdy. Niech Bóg nam pomoże! Niech tragedy przeżytej przez was wojny, hart waszego ducha, wierność ideałom i świadectwo życia staną się apelem or zaprzestanie toczonych w świecie wojen i poszukiwanie dróg pokoju. Wam wszystkim, waszej Ojczyźnie, obecnym tu pielgrzymom, a wśród nich dzieciom pierwszokomunijnym z Kościoła św. Stanisława w Rzymie, z serca błogosławię. [I greet the Polish pilgrims and, in a special way, the ex-fighters of the Second World War who have arrived for the celebrations of the anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino. Sadness, remember wars ... the last century, two great ones; and now ... we never learn. God help us! The tragedy of war lived by you, the strength of spirit, fidelity to ideals and the witness of life become an appeal for the cessation of conflicts in progress in the world and for the search for ways of peace. I warmly bless all of you, your country, the pilgrims present here, and among them the children of the First Communion of the Church of St Stanislaus in Rome.]
I am very worried and saddened by the intensification of tensions in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and for the spiral of violence that increasingly moves away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations. I express my great sorrow for the dead and the wounded and I am close with prayer and affection to all those who suffer. I repeat that it is never the use of violence that leads to peace. War calls war, violence calls violence. I invite all the parties involved and the international community to renew their commitment so that dialogue, justice and peace prevail. We invoke Mary, Queen of Peace. "Ave Maria…". God have mercy on us! I extend my cordial greetings for the month of Ramadan, which will begin tomorrow. May this privileged time of prayer and fasting help to walk
in the way of God which is the way of peace. * * *
I extend a cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking faithful. In particular, I am pleased to welcome the Priests of the Dioceses of Milan and Brescia, the Pallottine Fathers, and the parishes, in particular those of Stabbia and of Oria. The visit to the Tombs of the Apostles increases in everyone the desire to adhere with renewed enthusiasm to Jesus and his Gospel. I greet the AVIS Group of Viterbo, accompanied by the Bishop, Monsignor Lino Fumagalli; the San Carlo College of Milan; the Istituto Superiore Universitario di Scienze psicopedagogiche e sociale of Viterbo; the Delegation of the Football Championship for people with mental disorders, and the Gruppo della Casa Cirondariale di Catania. A special thought for the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds. The Marian prayer which interweaves the time of this month of May, sustains and motivates each one to live well their presence in the family and in the working environments, bringing, with the enthusiasm of the disciples, the joy of life in Christ.