Pope Francis on Christmas Eve encouraged Catholics to turn away from consumerism and embrace the “smallness” of Baby Jesus.
During his homily at the annual Midnight Mass in a packed St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the humble story of Jesus’ birth in a manger remains a guiding principle of Catholicism.
“The Gospel reveals a paradox: it speaks of the emperor, the governor, the mighty of those times, but God does not make himself present there; he does not appear in the grand hall of a royal palace, but in the poverty of a stable; not in pomp and show, but in the simplicity of life; not in power, but in a smallness which surprises,” Francis said, according to Vatican Radio’s translation of the homily. “In order to discover him, we need to go there, where he is: we need to bow down, humble ourselves, make ourselves small. The Child who is born challenges us: he calls us to leave behind fleeting illusions and go to the essence, to renounce our insatiable claims, to abandon our endless dissatisfaction and sadness for something we will never have. It will help us to leave these things behind in order to rediscover in the simplicity of the God-child, peace, joy and the meaning of life.”
Francis continued, chastising those for whom the essence of Christmas is in consumerism, rather than redoubling efforts to help the poor and society’s forgotten people.
He urged the faithful not to get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas, “when we are concerned for gifts but cold toward those who are marginalized.” Materialism has “taken us hostage this Christmas,” he said. “We have to free ourselves of it!”
The Vatican’s annual Midnight Mass is the first event on the Catholic Christmas calendar. Francis will offer another blessing, known as the Ubri et Orbi, or “To the City, To the World” at noon Christmas Day.
Movie ‘SWEAT’ shows what can go wrong when you’re insta-famous
Shenzhen airport tightens COVID-19 measures as China records rise in new cases
Apple Daily editor, CEO denied bail in Hong Kong
Singapore sees early rush in demand for Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
Four people killed, four injured after aircraft crashes in Siberia
Weird7 days ago
Cape Cod diver left with a whale of a tale after a humpback spat him out
Middle East7 days ago
Saudi Arabia bars foreign travellers from Hajj over COVID19
Other6 days ago
Athletes told to take courtesy condoms home amid physical distancing rules in Olympic Village
Football7 days ago
Christian Eriksen: Denmark midfielder ‘awake’ after collapsing on pitch
Lifestyle5 days ago
Saudi ministry: Women can register for Hajj with other women without male guardian
Science7 days ago
SLS: First view of Nasa’s assembled ‘megarocket’
Computers4 days ago
Critical US entities targeted in suspected Chinese cyber spying
Health4 days ago
AstraZeneca’s antibody treatment fails to protect patients exposed to COVID-19