Baptism enables the faithful to be one in Christ, teaches Holy Father

.- During his homily on Saturday morning in Luanda, Angola, Pope Benedict addressed bishops, priests, religious, members of ecclesial movements and catechists and explained that through the Sacrament of Baptism, all believers are unified in Christ.

Reflecting on the teachings of St. Paul, the patron saint of Luanda, the Holy Father noted that the Apostle to the Gentiles "speaks to us from personal experience about this God Who is rich in mercy."

The decisive event in the life of St. Paul, explained Benedict XVI, "was his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul saw the Risen Lord and from then on "saw everything in the light of this perfect stature of humanity in Christ."

The Pontiff explained that when we know the Lord, as St. Paul did, we are brought into a "new dimension" which "integrates matter and through which a new world arises."

This new dimension, the Holy Father continued, comes to us through "faith and Baptism." He explained that the Sacrament of Baptism "is truly death and resurrection, transformation and new life. ... I live, but no longer I. In a certain way, my identity has been taken away and made part of an even greater identity; I still have my personal identity, but now it is changed and open to others as a result of my becoming part of Another: in Christ I find myself living on a new plane."

"Through this process of our 'Christification' by the working and grace of God's Spirit, the gestation of the Body of Christ in history is gradually being accomplished in us."

The Holy Father then recalled the years following 1506 when the first sub-Saharan Christian kingdom was established. He explained, "The kingdom remained officially Catholic from the sixteenth century until the eighteenth, with its own ambassador in Rome." Within the kingdom, two different ethnic groups, the Bantu and the Portuguese, "were able to find in the Christian religion common ground for understanding, and committed themselves to ensuring that this understanding would be long-lasting, and that differences - which undoubtedly existed, and great ones at that - would not divide the two kingdoms! For Baptism enables all believers to be one in Christ."

"Today it is up to you," he continued, "to offer the Risen Christ to your fellow citizens."

So many of them are living in fear of spirits, of malign and threatening powers." The Holy Father went on to address those who may object saying, "’Why not leave them in peace? They have their truth, and we have ours. Let us all try to live in peace, leaving everyone as they are, so they can best be themselves'."

However, "if we are convinced and have come to experience that without Christ life lacks something, that something real - indeed, the most real thing of all - is missing, we must also be convinced that we do no injustice to anyone if we present Christ to them and thus grant them the opportunity of finding their truest and most authentic selves, the joy of finding life. Indeed, we must do this. It is our duty to offer everyone this possibility of attaining eternal life."

Concluding his homily, the Holy Father prayed that all embrace the will of the Lord and, like St. Paul, preach the Gospel.

At the end of Mass, the Holy Father returned to the apostolic nunciature, where he ate lunch.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: