Saint Peter’s Square Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters: today we continue our catechesis on the sacrament of baptism by reflecting on how, through baptism, we become members of Christ’s mystical body, the Church. In every generation, through baptism, we are reborn to the new life of grace and called to be witnesses of the Gospel before the world. Baptism makes us “missionary disciples” within the communion of the Church. There is a close bond, then, between our rebirth in water and the Holy Spirit, our responsibility to live this new life within the Church, in our families and our parishes, and our mission to bring the Gospel to others as channels of God’s grace. We can look to the remarkable history of the Church in Japan, where small communities of the faithful survived clandestinely for over two centuries thanks to the grace of baptism. May this example help us to appreciate more fully the profound mystical, communitarian and missionary dimensions of our baptism.