VATICAN CITY -- With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.
Baptism is "God's powerful intervention in our lives to save us. This saving intervention of God doesn't remove our human nature and weakness; we are all weak and we are all sinners. And baptism doesn't remove our responsibility to ask forgiveness every time we err," the pope said Nov. 13 during his weekly general audience.
Pentecost belongs to sinners only! Pentecost is neither for the angels nor for the saints. They do not need it; we sinners do. Every day every sinner is confronted with an inner rebellion. There are no exceptions! We all have a choice to follow our human spirit, the Evil Spirit or the Holy Spirit; all too often we follow the human spirit and sometimes the Evil Spirit.
For the past three weeks, I have written about the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. With the reception of these great gifts from God, we are reborn spiritually, our sins are forgiven, and we are nourished by our intimate communion with Jesus Christ and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Q. When did the Church start celebrating Mass daily?
There are certain practices that are so intrinsic to the exercise of our Catholic faith that people assume that they were in existence in every age and every place from the very beginning. This is often not the case. Daily Mass and a great many other Catholic observances that are now a huge part of the devotional life of the faithful have come to us through a gradual and organic evolution.
Q: How are we to understand God's actions in the Old Testament, when He ordered so many killings and other things we now consider immoral, while Jesus in the New Testament reveals a loving Father?
In the Old Testament, God permits the people of Israel to put the population inhabiting the Promised Land under the ban, killing every person who inhabited the land. Contrast this to Christ in the New Testament, who teaches to love one's enemies and to turn the other cheek. What a contrast for the same God!