.- Pope Benedict XVI used his Sunday Angelus address to remind Christians of the joy of being âchildren of God,â courtesy of baptism.
âGod is the origin of the existence of every creature, and the Father in a unique way of every human being: he has a unique, personal relationship with him or her,â said the Pope from the window of his apostolic palace overlooking St. Peterâs Square Jan 8.
Earlier in the morning the Pope had baptized 16 newborn infants in the Sistine Chapel to mark the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.
Reflecting upon that event, he observed that being a child is âthe fundamental condition that binds us together,â for while ânot all of us are parents,â we are all children.
âComing into the world is never a choice; we are not asked first if we want to be born,â he said.
During life, though, we can develop an attitude toward life itself so that we âwelcome it as a gift and, in a sense, âbecomeâ what we already are: we become children.â
The development of this attitude marks âa maturity in our souls and our relationships with our parents, which is filled with gratitude.â
It is this attitude that makes people capable of being parents themselves ânot biologically, but morally.â
In God âwe are all children,â as he is âthe origin of the existence of every creature,â who has a âunique, personal relationship with him or her.â
âEach of us is willed, is loved by God,â such that it is appropriate to speak of being âborn again,â as children of God.
This happens through faith, explained the Pope, and in our âdeep and personal âyesâ to God as the source and foundation of our existence.â
âWhat is the basis of this faith in God the Father?â asked the Pope. âIt is based in Jesus Christ,â he answered.
âHis person and history has shown us the Father, it has made Him known to us, as far as possible, in this world.â Therefore, believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, allows us to be âborn again.ââ
Quoting the words of St. John, the Pope said that âto all who received him, he gave the power to become children of God.â This is the ânew birth,â that occurs in baptism âthrough the Holy Spirit and in the womb of the Church.â
The Pope urged Christians worldwide to give thanks to God for the âgreat mysteryâ of baptism which âis a source of regeneration for the Church and for the whole world.â
âGod became the son of man, because man becomes a child of God,â and so Christians should rejoice for being âborn of love of a father and a mother, and born again by Godâs love through baptism.â
The Pope concluded his comments by commending all present to âthe Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ,â before leading the pilgrims in the praying of the Angelus.
Todayâs Feast of the Baptism of the Lord concludes the Churchâs Christmas season.