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Pope Francis to Christians: 'Baptism Unites Us'

At an ecumenical Vespers service, Pope Francis told members of several Christian communities that the grace of Baptism creates a unity in the family of God.

Even when differences separate us, we can recognize that we have the same Baptism, and we belong “to the same family of brothers and sisters loved by the one Father,” the Pope said.

“This is our experience as believers. As we grow in spiritual life, we increasingly understand that grace reaches us together with others and is to be shared with others. So, when I raise my thanksgiving to God for what he has done in me, I find I do not sing alone, because other brothers and sisters have my same song of praise.”

Francis spoke during a Vespers service in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to mark both the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which this year focused on the theme: “Powerful is your hand, Lord.”

In his homily, the Pope reflected on our common Baptism using imagery from the story of the rescue of the baby Moses from the river by Pharaoh’s daughter.. “All of us Christians have passed through the waters of Baptism, and the grace of the Sacrament has destroyed our enemies, sin and death,” he emphasized.

However, our experience of God’s love and tenderness in our daily lives should not just be kept in our hearts, he stated. These individual experiences can be linked to an even greater history, that of the salvation of the people of God...

In the last 100 years, the different Christian confessions have realized that we are standing together on the same shores of the Red Sea, he continued. We have all been saved through our Baptism, and can sing a grateful song of praise together.

Today, “in a world that is increasingly rich in means and poor in love,” Christians and people of other religions face many attacks on human dignity, the Pope said, such as religious persecution, modern forms of slavery, hardship and hunger.

“But like the Israelites of Exodus, Christians are called to safeguard together the memory of what God has accomplished in them.”

Source: Catholic News Agency