The Pope francesco denounced this Saturday the existence of a humanity insatiable for money, power and pleasure who devours the weakest and causes wars, during the homily of the midnight mass celebrated in the basilica of San Pedro.
While presiding over the traditional ceremony, the Supreme Pontiff remained seated on one side of the altar due to knee problems and Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re was charged with celebrating the Eucharist.
For this reason it was a deacon who discovered the image of the Child at the foot of Bernini’s canopy and incensed it, while children from various parts of the world placed flowers next to it and in St. Peter’s Square the bells rang to announce the birth of Jesus. .
In front of the 7,000 people who packed the basilica, while another 3,000 waited outside in the square, in a ceremony broadcast by Mundovisión, he criticized that “after so many Christmases celebrated with decorations and gifts, after so much consumerism that has wrapped up the mystery we celebrate (. ..) I know it forgot its meaning”.
The pope read the homily sitting down and explained the three words that he believes can inspire the crib: “Closeness, poverty and concreteness”.
Speaking of proximity, the Pope said “that the manger serves to bring food closer to the mouth and consume it faster” and that “it can thus symbolize an aspect of humanity: voracity in consuming”.
“Because, while the animals in the stable consume the food, the men of the world, hungry for power and money, devour their neighbors, their brothers in the same way” said Francisco who added: “How many wars! And in many places, even today, dignity and freedom are trampled on. And the main victims of human voracity are always the frail, the weak”.
“This Christmas, as happened to Jesus, a humanity insatiable for money, power and pleasure makes no room for the little ones, for so many unborn children, for the poor, for the forgotten. I am thinking above all of the children devoured by wars, poverty and injustice” he lamented.
On poverty, the Pope took the opportunity to recall his invitation “to be a Church that adores the poor Jesus and serves Jesus in the poor”.
And he then quoted the words of the assassinated and proclaimed saint Archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Arnulfo Romero: “The Church supports and blesses the efforts to transform these structures of injustice and sets only one condition: that the social, economic and political transformations for the real benefit of the poor”.
“It is true, it is not easy to leave the tepid warmth of worldliness to embrace the wild beauty of the grotto of Bethlehem, but let us remember that it is not really Christmas without the poor. Christmas is celebrated without them, but not that of Jesus. Brothers, sisters, at Christmas God is poor, may charity be reborn!», exhorted the Pope.
On the other hand, the pontiff invoked “a concrete faith, made up of adoration and charity, not verbosity and exteriority”.
“Let’s not let this Christmas go by without doing good. Since it’s his party, his birthday, let’s give him gifts he likes. At Christmas, God is concrete, in his name we revive a little hope for those who have lost it,” said the Argentine pontiff.
Jorge Bergoglio will once again appear on the balcony of the Central Loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican tomorrow, just like when he was elected Pope in 2013, to read his Christmas message and pronounce the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing (to the city and to the world ).
With today’s mass, the Christmas ceremonies began, which will continue with the announcement and blessing on Christmas day, the Angelus prayer on December 26, and on December 31 Vespers and the Te Deum will be celebrated, to give thanks for the New Year. January 1 the Mass of the Solemnity of Mary.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.