By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis had a seemingly simple question for everyone present at the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square: “Which of you knows the date of your Baptism?”
He invited everyone who doesn’t to find out from their parents, grandparents, or godparents and to celebrate that date every year.
The Pope’s invitation came as the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord.
Reflecting on the readings at Mass, Pope Francis said Jesus underwent a two-fold immersion at his Baptism.
In human condition
First, Jesus was immersed in the crowd, he said. “He unites himself to them, thus completely assuming the human condition, sharing everything with them, except sin.”
The Pope said Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan is also an epiphany, because it takes place “in the midst of the penitent people”, where Jesus “manifests the logic and the sense of his mission.”
He said Jesus shared the people’s “profound desire for interior renewal.”
After being immersed in the water of the Jordan, the Pope said, Jesus was “immersed in prayer, that is, in communion with the Father.”
Jesus begins his mission of manifesting God’s love for humanity with his Baptism. “Such a mission is accomplished through constant and perfect union with the Father and with the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said.
Pope Francis said this means “being continually regenerated in prayer, evangelization and apostolic works so as to give clear Christian witness”.
Renew baptismal promises
Finally, the Pope said the Baptism of the Lord is an opportunity to renew our own baptismal promises, “committing ourselves to live daily in a manner consistent with it.”
“May Jesus, who saved us not through any merit of our own but in order to demonstrate the immense goodness of the Father, make us merciful toward everyone.”