JOHN PAUL II
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Sunday, 9 January 2005
Baptism of the Lord: becoming a constant gift to God
1. Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. According to the Evangelists, this event marks the beginning of his Messianic ministry. Christ's mission thus begun would be fulfilled in the Paschal Mystery in which, through his death and Resurrection, he was to take away the sin of the world (cf. Jn 1: 29).
2. The mission of Christians also begins with Baptism. The rediscovery of Baptism through suitable adult catechetical programmes is therefore an important aspect of the new evangelization. Renewing in a more mature way one's own acceptance of the faith is the condition for true and full participation in the Eucharistic Celebration, the summit of ecclesial life.
3. May Mary Most Holy help all who through Baptism are reborn "from water and the Spirit" to make their lives a constant gift of themselves to God in the daily practice of the commandment of love, thereby exercising the common priesthood that belongs to every baptized person.
After the Angelus:
On this Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord, my thoughts go to all the children who have been baptized during the past year. I embrace and bless them. I also bless the godfathers and godmothers, and in particular, the parents of the newly baptized and urge them all to cultivate within them, by word and example, the seed of divine life that was sown by the sacrament of Baptism.
I cordially greet the group of Priests from El Salvador who are participating in this Marian prayer. Dear brothers, may your visit to the tombs of the Apostles strengthen your commitment to giving your whole self to Christ and his Church.
I wish you all a good Sunday!
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