During his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis emphasized the need for Christians to allow God to work powerfully in their lives.
When Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened, but this “is also possible for every one of us, if we let ourselves be flooded by the love of God that comes to us given by the Holy Spirit for the first time at baptism,” encouraged Pope Francis on Jan. 12 from the window of the Apostolic palace.
“If the heavens remain closed, our horizon in this earthly life is dark, without hope,” but when we celebrate Christmas, we are again offered “the certainty that the heavens are rent with the coming of Jesus,” he explained.
We contemplate the same hope in meditating on the Baptism of Jesus as the Church does today. Moreover, “every child that comes to be baptized is a miracle of faith and a celebration for the family of God.”
“The manifestation of the Son of God on the earth signals the beginning of a great time of mercy,” he stressed, repeating “a great time of mercy!” for emphasis.
“God gives us in Christ the guarantee of an indestructible love,” he assured the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Jesus “was without sin and did not have need of conversion” yet “received the baptism of repentance from John” in order to be in solidarity with mankind.
Christ “shared in our condition, our poverty” – this sharing is the “true way of love,” noted the Pope.
“Jesus didn’t disassociate himself from us, he considered us brothers and shared in our life. And so he made us sons, together with Himself, of God the Father,” the Pontiff continued.
He then asked, “Do we not feel that our time might need some extra brotherly sharing and love? Do we not feel that we all might need some extra charity?”
“Not the kind that is content with extemporaneous help that doesn’t involve oneself, doesn’t put itself in play, but that charity that shares, that takes care of the discomfort and the suffering of a brother.”
Such a love “procures life, when it allows us to be flooded with the love of God!” he exclaimed.
“Let us ask the Holy Virgin to sustain us with her intercession in our duty to follow Christ on the way of faith and charity, the way marked by our Baptism,” he concluded.
After leading the Angelus prayer, the Pope took a moment to greet the many pilgrims who had arrived, “in particular, the families and faithful who came from various parishes of Italy and from other countries.”
He then made an unexpected announcement of the list of 19 Cardinals from around the world to be appointed in February before concluding with a wish for everyone to “have a good lunch.”
Tags: Pope Francis