Give hope to others, justice for the poor, says pope at Christmas

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Christ was born to touch people’s hearts and show that love has the power to change the course of history, Pope Francis said.

However, righteous people must ask themselves, “Do we want to stand by his side? Are we approaching him? Do we love his poverty? Or do we want to live comfortably in his “What are our needs and concerns?” the pope asked in his Dec. 24 homily as part of the night’s liturgy.

“We are called to be a church that worships Jesus as a poor person and serves him to the poor,” the pope said, calling for a new commitment to charity and sustainable change.

“The church supports and blesses efforts to change the structures of injustice and sets only one condition: social, economic and political change that will truly benefit the poor,” said the pope, telling St. Oscar Romero.

Evening Mass, often called “Midnight Mass,” has not been celebrated at midnight in the Vatican since 2009. Pope Francis celebrated the “Christmas Eve Mass” at 7:30 p.m., as he will do in 2020 and 2021. .

The Christmas carol, “Noel,” was sung during the procession, and the Mass began with the Christmas announcement, or “calendar,” of Jesus’ birth. The pope, sitting to the right of the altar, looks at a raised cloth, which shows the image of the baby Jesus.

The bells of the Basilica of St. Peter announcing the birth of Christ, and children representing different cultures placed white flowers around the crib of baby Jesus.

In his homily, the pope reflected on the dangers of a Christmas filled only with “decorations and gifts, after many consumers have grasped the secret that we celebrating.”

“How do we rediscover the meaning of Christmas?” asked the pope. “We have to look at the feed.”

“In the pasture of rejection and trouble, God reveals himself.”

“He came there because that’s where we see the problem of our humanity: the indifference created by the rush to eat and eat,” he said.

There people will see Jesus’ closeness to humanity, his choice to live among the poor and needy, and his insistence on “firm faith, based on religion and with love, not empty words and humility,” said Pope Francis. .

Animal feeding, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Army ​​of which it is a food court, hunger for wealth and power, and people want to eat “their neighbors, brothers and sisters, ” he said.

“How many wars have we seen,” asked the pope, and how many places have disrespected human dignity and freedom?

“This Christmas, as in the case of Jesus, is a world that eats money, power and pleasure that does not make room for children, because there are many children who are not born, poor and forgotten,” especially those who are “consumed by war, poverty. and injustice,” he said.

In Jesus, “every child is present. And we ourselves are invited to look at life, politics and history through the eyes of children,” said Pope Francis.

With Jesus – born in a manger – he can become “our food,” feeding the hungry “with his love,” he said. “He came to touch our hearts and tell us that only love has the power to change the course of history.”

On Christmas Eve, God is near, said the pope. “From the pasture, as food for your life, he tells you: ‘If you feel exhausted by events, if you are consumed by the feeling of guilt and failure, if you are hungry in truth, I am your God with you.'”

He said, “God was born in a manger so you can be born again where you thought you were stuck down. No sin, no sin, Jesus doesn’t want to save you. And He can. Christmas, God is close to us: Faith will be born again!

Jesus was born, lived and died in poverty, and he showed “where the true value of life is to be found: not in money and power, but in relationships and humanity,” says him.

“Love will be reborn,” said the pope, and “we will not accept this Christmas without doing something good” so that it can be “reborn to the hopeless.”

“Jesus is not satisfied with appearances” and good intentions, Pope Francis said.

Jesus wants determination and truth, he said. “He asks us to go to the real truth of things, and lay at the foot of the manger all our excuses, our justifications and our hypocrisies. Mary in a child’s clothing, she wants us to be clothed in love.