Loading
Remember the needy children this Christmas, Pope says

.- Preaching to an overflowing St. Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Eve, Pope Benedict XVI offered a reflection on the miracle of God’s coming to earth as a small child.  The Pontiff told the faithful that the baby Jesus reminds us to care for the smallest and neediest of the world.

The Pontiff referred to the Gospel story of the angel who appears to the shepherds, telling them that their savior has been born as a small child.  “Nothing miraculous, nothing extraordinary, nothing magnificent is given to the shepherds as a sign. All they will see is a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, one who, like all children, needs a mother’s care; a child born in a stable, who therefore lies not in a cradle but in a manger. God’s sign is the baby in need of help and in poverty,” the Pope noted.

“Exactly the same sign has been given to us,” he continued.” We too are invited by the angel of God, through the message of the Gospel, to set out in our hearts to see the child lying in the manger.”

God does not wish to overwhelm mankind with his strength, the Holy Father said, but comes as a baby.  “He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love,” the Pontiff emphasized, “God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him.”

By becoming small and weak, the he added, “God teaches us to love the little ones. In this way he teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches us respect for children. The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; towards children who are unloved. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us.”

Simplicity of faith

The Holy Father then turned to a line from the New and Old Testaments which says: “God made his Word short, he abbreviated it.”  In addition to considering this line of scripture in reference to the child Jesus’ smallness, the Pope said, it also refers to the simple faith Christ brings.

Over time, the Word which God speaks in Sacred Scripture had become long and complex, obscured for the uneducated, he said.  “Jesus ‘abbreviated’ the Word – he showed us once more its deeper simplicity and unity. Everything taught by the Law and the Prophets is summed up – (Christ) says – in the command: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Mt 22:37-40).”

This, Pope Benedict said, “is everything – the whole faith is contained in this one act of love which embraces God and humanity.”  And in his coming as a child, “He is no longer distant. He is no longer unknown. He is no longer beyond the reach of our heart,” the Holy Father added.

Gift-giving

The Holy Father then spoke of the need for men and women to give of themselves at Christmas time.

“For us, God has become a gift,” Benedict said. “He has given himself. He has entered time for us. He who is the Eternal One, above time, he has assumed our time and raised it to himself on high.”

“Christmas has become the Feast of gifts in imitation of God who has given himself to us. Let us allow our heart, our soul and our mind to be touched by this fact,” the Pope declared. “Among the many gifts that we buy and receive, let us not forget the true gift: to give each other something of ourselves, to give each other something of our time, to open our time to God.”

“When you give gifts for Christmas, do not give only to those who will give to you in return,” he added, “but give to those who receive from no one and who cannot give you anything back.”

“This is what God has done: he invites us to his wedding feast, something which we cannot reciprocate, but can only receive with joy. Let us imitate him! Let us love God and, starting from him, let us also love man, so that, starting from man, we can then rediscover God in a new way!”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: