Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
On Sunday, January 10th, 2016, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis baptized twenty-six babies in the Sistine Chapel. Below is the full text of his short homily about the importance of parents passing down the faith to their children.
“Forty days after His birth, Jesus was taken to the Temple. Mary and Joseph took him to present Him to God. Today, on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, you, parents, bring your children to be baptized, to receive that which you asked for in the beginning, when I have asked you all the first question: “The faith. I want the faith for my child.” And so, the faith is transmitted from generation to generation, like a chain, in the course of time.
“These baby boys and girls, over the years, will take your place with another child – your grandchildren – and they’ll ask the same thing: the faith. The faith that Baptism gives us. The faith that the Holy Spirit bears in the heart, soul, and in the life of your children.
“You asked [for] the faith. The Church, when you hand over the lighted candle, will tell you to keep the faith in these children. And, finally, do not forget that the greatest inheritance that you can give your children is faith. Be careful that this is not lost, so it can grow and leave a legacy.
“Today, I wish, that in this joyous day for you all: I wish you are able to make these children grow in faith, and that the greatest inheritance they receive from you, really, is the faith.
“And only a warning: When a baby cries because he or she is hungry, to the mommies, I say: if your child is hungry, feed them here, with complete freedom.”