San Damaso courtyard
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Brothers and sisters, good morning!
Let us continue our journey in deepening the faith – our faith – in the light of the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians. The Apostle is insistent with those Christians so they would not forget the novelty of God’s revelation that had been proclaimed to them. Completely in agreement with the evangelist John (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-
In fact, once “faith has come” in Jesus Christ (v. 25), a radically new condition was created that leads to divine sonship. The sonship of which Paul speaks is no longer a general one involving all men and women insofar as they are sons and daughters of the same Creator. No, in the passage we have heard, he affirms that faith allows us to be children of God “in Christ” (v. 26). This is what is new. This “in Christ” is what makes the difference. Not just children of God, like everyone: all men and women are children of God, all of them, regardless of the religion we embrace. No. But “in Christ”, this is what makes the difference for Christians, and this happens only by participating in Christ’s redemption, and in us in the sacrament of baptism: this is how it begins. Jesus became our brother, and by his death and resurrection he has reconciled us with the Father. Anyone who accepts Christ in faith, has “put on” Christ and his filial dignity through baptism (cf. v. 27). This is what it says in verse 27.
In his Letters, Saint Paul makes reference to baptism more than one time. For him, to be baptized was the same as taking part effectively and truly in the mystery of Jesus. For example, in the Letter to the Romans, he would even go so far as to say that in baptism we have died with Christ and have been buried with him so as to live with him (cf. 6:3-
The Apostle audaciously confirms that the identity received with baptism is so completely new that it prevails over the differences that exist on the ethnic-
As we can see, Paul confirms the profound unity that exists between all the baptized, in whatever condition they are bound to, whether men or women – equal because every one of them is a new creature in Christ. Every distinction becomes secondary to the dignity of being children of God, who, through his love, creates a real and substantial equality. Everyone, through Christ’s redemption and the baptism we have received, we are all equal: children of God. Equal.
Brothers and sisters, we are, therefore, called in a more positive way to live a new life that roots its foundational expression in being children of God. Equal because we are children of God; and children of God because Christ redeemed us and we attained this dignity through baptism. It is decisive even for all of us today to rediscover the beauty of being children of God, to be brothers and sisters among ourselves, because we have been united in Christ, who redeemed us. The differences and contrasts that separation creates should not exist among believers in Christ. And one of the apostles, in the Letter of James, says this: “Be aware about differences, because it is not right that when someone enters the assembly (that is, the Mass) wearing a gold ring and well-
New Year's Day will be celebrated in Ethiopia this coming 11 September. I extend to the Ethiopian people my most cordial and heart-
I cordially greet the English-