- Sunday, 13 January 2013 08:59
An annual tradition on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the baptism of the children by the Pope in the Sistine Chapel. Today, Benedict baptized 20 children. This is the same place where the cardinals meet under lock and key to elect a new pontiff. Here is the pope’s teaching.
The joy arising from the celebration of Christmas finds its completion today in the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. To this joy is added another reason for those of us who are gathered here: in the Sacrament of Baptism that will soon be administered to these infants, the living and active presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested, enriching the Church with new children, enlivening and making them grow, and we cannot help but rejoice. I wish to extend a special greeting to you, dear parents and godparents, who today bear witness to your faith by requesting Baptism for these children, because they are regenerated to new life in Christ and become part of the community of believers.
The Gospel account of Jesus’ baptism, which we have heard today according to St Luke’s account, shows the path of abasement and humility that the Son of God freely chose in order to adhere to the plan of the Father, to be obedient to His loving will for mankind in all things, even to the sacrifice on the Cross. Having reached adulthood, Jesus begins His public ministry by going to the River Jordan to receive from John the baptism of repentance and conversion. What happens may appear paradoxical to our eyes. Does Jesus need repentance and conversion? Of course not. Yet He Who is without sin is placed among the sinners to be baptized, to fulfil this act of repentance; the Holy One of God joins those who recognize in themselves the need for forgiveness and ask God for the gift of conversion – that is, the grace to turn to Him with their whole heart, to be totally His. Jesus wills to put Himself on the side of sinners, by being in solidarity with them, expressing the nearness of God. Jesus shows solidarity with us, with our effort to convert, to leave behind our selfishness, to detach ourselves from our sins, saying to us that if we accept Him into our lives, He is able to raise us up and lead us the heights of God the Father. And this solidarity of Jesus is not, so to speak, a mere exercise of the mind and will. Jesus was really immersed in our human condition; He lived it to the utmost – although without sin – and in such a way that He understands weakness and fragility. Therefore He is moved to compassion; He chooses to “suffer with” men, to be penitent together with us. This is the work of God that Jesus wishes to accomplish: the divine mission to heal those who are wounded and to cure those who are sick, to take upon Himself the sin of the world.
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- Sunday, 06 January 2013 14:32
We honor the witness of the Magi, Casper, Melchior and Balthasar. The Seekers from the East following the signature of God to the star burning brightly over the Light of the World. Saint John
Chrysostom taught, “If the Magi had come in search of an earthly king, they
would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come
such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor
offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly king, though they found in him
no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star
alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God.”
As you know Pope Benedict ordained 4 priests to the Order of Bishops today at the Sacrifice of the Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany. The Pope, per usual, hits the ball out of the park. He speaks eloquently about the ministry of the bishop for the Church. I read the following homily with astonishment. I am in awe of the profound nature of the vocation; I am sad to know so many called to this office by the Spirit and the Church live it with such lack of faith, hope, and charity, with a lack of mercy and the good of the people put in his charge. On this feast we pray for all the pastors of the Church, including the bishops. Let’s look with mercy as the Lord has shown us mercy. Pay close attention to Pope.
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- Sunday, 06 January 2013 08:11
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me and sent me to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted. (LK 4:18; entrance antiphon)
Today we see the episcopal ordination of four priests. On this feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI ordained four men he’s known to be good repute to serve the Church of Christ in a new, dynamic way. With prayer to the Holy Spirit and laying on of hands, the following priests are ordained to the Order of Bishop:
Fortunatus Nwachukwu, 52, Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua
Nicholas Thevenin, 54, Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala
Zani, 62, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education
All four were given the title of archbishop in recognition of work done, and to be done.
With the Church we pray,
O God, eternal Shepherd, who, governing your flock with watchful care, choose to join these your servants and Priests to the College of Bishops this day, grant we pray, that by their holiness of life they may everywhere prove to be true witnesses to Christ.
(the coat of arms belong to Arcbbishop Georg Gänswein)
- Tuesday, 01 January 2013 20:16
Do you ever ask what peace really is? What are the horizons of peace? Why is the name of Jesus held holy, revered, not to be easily used in common speech? What brings every man, woman and child peace? Who is Mary, and why is she important? Pope Benedict answers these questions in a homily at a Mass he celebrated today to mark the New Year, the World Day of Peace, the solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
The Theotokos of Vladimir.
“May God bless
us and make his face to shine upon us.” We proclaimed these words from Psalm 66
after hearing in the first reading the ancient priestly blessing upon the
people of the covenant. It is especially significant that at the start of every
new year God sheds upon us, his people, the light of his Holy Name, the Name
pronounced three times in the solemn form of biblical blessing. Nor is it less
significant that to the Word of God – who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn
1:14) as “the true light that enlightens every man” (1:9) – is given, as
today’s Gospel tells us, the Name of Jesus eight days after his birth (cf. Lk
It is in this Name that we are gathered here today. I cordially greet
all present, beginning with the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps accredited
to the Holy See. I greet with affection Cardinal Bertone, my Secretary of
State, and Cardinal Turkson, with all the officials of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace; I am particularly grateful to them for their effort to spread
the Message for the World Day of Peace, which this year has as its theme
“Blessed are the Peacemakers”.
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- Monday, 31 December 2012 16:55
The Pope’s homily for Vespers at the Vatican basilica follows below. He sets out a very clear direction for Christian living and pastoral activity. Are we going to listen? The Pope preached:
I thank all of
you who have chosen to participate in this liturgy of the last hour of the year
of the Lord 2012. This “hour” bears a particular intensity and becomes, in a
sense, a synthesis of all the hours of the year that is about to come to an
end. I cordially greet the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, consecrated persons and
lay faithful, and especially the many people from the ecclesial community of
Rome. In a special way I greet the Authorities present, beginning with the
Mayor of the City, and thank them for choosing to share with us this moment of prayer
and thanksgiving to God.
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