The Vatican

Pope at Christmas Mass : "Help us to give flesh and life to our faith".

Where to look for the meaning of Christmas? This was the question around which Pope Francis' homily revolved in what was his tenth celebration of the Mass of the Nativity of the Lord.

Maria José Atienza-December 25, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
papa christmas

The Pope in front of the Nativity scene after Christmas Eve Mass ©CNS photo/Vatican Media

St. Peter's Basilica once again welcomed hundreds of people, including many children, and dozens of priests who accompanied the Holy Father in the Eucharistic celebration.

The Pope wanted to turn his gaze to the manger, pointing to it as the place where we find the true meaning of Christmas, which at times is drowned among gifts and decorations. "To find the meaning of Christmas, you have to look there (at the manger). But why is the manger so important? Because it is the sign, not by chance, with which Christ enters the world scene." And of the manger, the Pope pointed out three meanings to reflect on: closeness, poverty and concreteness.

As for the proximityThe Pope pointed out that "the manger serves to bring food closer to the mouth and consume it more quickly. An idea that recalls the voracity of the world, greedy for comfort and money. On the contrary, "in the manger of rejection and discomfort," the Pope continued.

"God accommodates himself: he arrives there, because there is the problem of humanity, the indifference generated by the voracious rush to possess and consume. Christ is born there and in that manger we discover him nearby".

About the poverty The Pope pointed out that "the manger reminds us that he had no one else around him but those who loved him. A reality that "thus highlights the true riches of life: not money and power, but relationships and people. And the first person, the first richness, is Jesus himself".

And lastly, the Pope stopped at the concretion that signifies Christ's entry into human history. In a concrete child, in a concrete land and a concrete year: "From the manger to the cross, his love for us was tangible, concrete: from birth to death, the carpenter's son embraced the roughness of wood, the roughness of our existence".

"Jesus, we look at You, lying in the manger. We see You so close, always close to us: thank You, Lord. We see You poor, teaching us that true wealth is not in things, but in people, especially in the poor: forgive us, if we have not recognized and served You in them. We see you concrete, because your love for us is concrete: Jesus, help us to give flesh and life to our faith," the Pope concluded.

During the celebration, the Holy Father renewed the custom of adoration of the image of the Child Jesus and paused, in a special way, before the manger set up inside the Petrine Basilica.

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