Pope Francis baptized 33 babies at the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, advising families to set an example for their children through reading the Gospels.
He said the Word of God is like a mother’s nourishing milk.
“God, like a good father and a good mother, wants to give good gifts to his children,” and wants to give his children “substantial food,” the Pope said in his homily at the Jan. 11 Sistine Chapel Mass.
“What is this substantial food that God gives us?” the Pope asked. “It is his Word. His Word makes us grow, makes us bear good fruit in life, as rain and snow are good for the earth and make it fruitful.”
At one point the Pope encouraged mothers to give their children milk, “even now, if they cry for hunger.”
“We thank the Lord for the gift of milk, and pray for those mothers--who are many, unfortunately--who are not in a position to give food to their children,” he said. “We pray and try to help these mothers.”
“What milk does to the body, the Word of God does for the spirit: the Word of God makes faith grow.”
He encouraged parents, godparents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, saying they will “help these children to grow well if you give them the Word of God, the gospel of Jesus.”