The Holy Father reminds the faithful about Christ’s humble birth; advises Catholics to draw inspiration from Mary and Joseph.
Pope Francis gave a call on Sunday to Catholics to keep their focus on the real reason for Christmas – Jesus Christ. The Pope made this appeal while addressing the crowd that had gathered for the Sunday morning Angelus. The Pope warned against the invasion of commercialization of the festival and has requested the faithful to hold on to the message that Christ brings through his birth.
The Pope’s focus was particularly on Joseph and Mary. During his address, he asked the gathering at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican to pause for a moment and reflect on what Joseph and Mary may have gone through during their journey to Bethlehem. As the two people who have had the closest experience of God’s mystery of love in the incarnation of Christ, the Pope says that their example should be taken by the faithful in living their daily life.
The Pope observed that Mary represents the willingness to accept the Savior into our lives in obedience, and Joseph represents the confidence that we should have in God and the desire to always seek and do God’s will. The Pope said that as this week is leading to Christmas, the time is just perfect to reflect on their lives and exhorted the faithful to follow in their path.
The Pope’s message may have been influenced by the growing disconnect between the Christmas festivities and its religious significance. Certain atheist organizations have also been protesting against keeping the religious sentiments behind Christmas in the festival. Ironically, Christmas is originally a Christian festival commemorating the birth of Christ. For followers of pagan ways of life, this time is the celebration of the Yule festival. As such Christmas is actually very much a religious holiday.
Happy birthday Jesus, the real reason we celebrate Christmas. It doesn't get enough recognition. I'm so thankful for everything you've done
— sally p (@Salonne_Pope) December 25, 2014
Pope Francis pointed out at the humble origin of the festival. The Pope reminded the faithful that Jesus was not born in extravagance, but in a humble manger, surrounded by cattle and wrapped in simple clothes. The Pontiff also reflected on the humility and meekness with which the couple accepted the conditions in which they would have to bring the Son of God into the world. The faithful were called to take in this example and to celebrate this Christmas in humility, and care for one another.
Pope Francis also thanked everyone who sent birthday wishes for his 80th, which was celebrated on Saturday.
- Herald Malaysia Online
- Catholic Online
- World Religion News – “FFRF and American Atheists Declare Annual Christmas “War on State/church Separation” Has Started”
- World Religion News – “This Is Why Pagans Celebrate Yule at Stonehenge”
- World Religion News – “Pope Francis Turns 80 on Saturday: Here’s How to Send Him a Birthday Greeting”