On the Baptism of the Lord
FREE Catholic Classes
"Holiness Constitutes the Vocation of All the Baptized"
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday before praying the midday Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Today the feast of the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated, which closes the Christmas season. The liturgy proposes to us the narrative of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, according to St. Luke's account (cf. 3:15-16.21-22). The Evangelist narrates that, while Jesus was at prayer, after having received baptism among the many who were attracted by the precursor's preaching, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove. At that moment, a voice resounded from on high: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22).
Jesus' baptism in the Jordan is recalled and highlighted, though in a different manner, by all the Evangelists. It formed part, in fact, of the apostolic preaching, as it constituted the starting point of a series of events and words on which the apostles were to give testimony (cf. Acts 1:21-22; 10:37-41). The apostolic community considered it very important, not only because in that circumstance, for the first time in history, the manifestation was taking place of the Trinitarian mystery in a clear and complete manner, but also because with that event Jesus' public ministry began on the roads of Palestine.
Jesus' baptism in the Jordan is the anticipation of his baptism of blood on the cross, and it is also a symbol of all the sacramental activity with which the Redeemer would enact the salvation of humanity. For this reason, the patristic tradition has paid much attention to this feast, which is the most ancient after Easter. "In the baptism of Christ," sings the liturgy of today, "the world is sanctified, sins are forgiven; in the water and in the Spirit we become new creatures" ("Antiphon to the Benedictus," Office of Lauds).
There is a profound relationship between Christ's baptism and our baptism. In the Jordan, the heavens were opened (cf. Luke 3:21) to indicate that the Savior opened to us the way of salvation and that we can follow it precisely thanks to the new birth "of water and the Spirit" (John 3:5), which takes place in baptism. In it, we are introduced in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church, we die and rise with him, we are clothed in him, as the Apostle Paul underlines on several occasions (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27). The commitment that arises from baptism consists therefore in "listening" to Jesus, that is, to believe in him and follow him docilely doing his will, the will of God. In this way, each one of us can aspire to holiness, a goal that, as the Second Vatican Council reminded, constitutes the vocation of all the baptized. May we be helped by Mary, mother of the beloved Son of God, to always be faithful to our baptism.
[At the end of the Angelus the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in six languages. In English, he said:]
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims gathered for this Angelus prayer. Today's liturgical celebration of the baptism of the Lord reminds us that through faith and baptism all humanity is called to share in the life of God revealed in Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son. May this mystery of light inspire all of us to live fully the new life of grace bestowed upon us at our baptism and to be faithful witnesses of Christ before the world. God bless you and your families!
© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
https://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Pope, Benedict, Angelus, Baptize, Lord, Jesus
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 HD Video
- St. Gerard Majella: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, October 16, 2018
- Taiwan offers second invitation to pope following Vatican-China deal
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, October 16, 2018
- Trump set to pick Catholic lawyer as next White House counsel
- Pope laicizes two Chilean bishops for sexual abuse of minors
- Daily Reading for Monday, October 15th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, October 12th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, October 14th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, October 11th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education