Vatican City (Monday, 01/12/2015, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis baptizes 33 children, 20 girls and 13 boys, at the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
In his homily, the Pope took the opportunity to urge parents to participate in the growth of their children by sharing daily experience of faith with them in order to become more and more “immersed in the Holy Spirit.” He explained that the word of God is the best gift that parents can give their children. That’s why he encouraged them to read the Gospel.
He reflected on the Liturgy of the feast, which shows God’s concern for His children. Therefore, he asked the parents to give the Word of God, which is the Gospel of Jesus, to their children in order to help them spiritually.
The Pope explained that it is necessary for parents to set an example for their children
“Try to get the habit of reading a passage of the Gospel every day, even a short one. And always carry a Gospel with you, in your pocket or purse” he said.
“And this will be the best example for the children: to see the father, the mother, the godparents, the grandparents, the uncles, reading the Word of God” he continued.
The sacrament of Baptism, says the Pope, “introduces us in the body of the Church, into the holy people of God and in this body, in this pilgrim people, faith is transmitted from generation to generation:.. It is the faith of the Church, it is the faith of Mary our Mother, the Faith of St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. John, the faith of the Apostles and Martyrs, which has come to us through Baptism. It is a chain by which Faith is transmitted. The candle of Faith goes from hand to hand.”
He reiterated his previous request made to the parents: “So, dear parents, godfathers and godmothers, if you want your children to become true Christians, help them grow, “immersed” them in the Holy Spirit, which is in the warmth of God’s love, the light of his word.”
At the end, when saying the prayer to the Holy Spirit, he said: “feel the maternal presence of the Virgin Mary. She teaches us to pray to the Spirit and to live according to the Spirit as Jesus did’. (LMI)