- Sep 18, 2020
During his homily for Christmas Eve Mass, Pope Francis said the birth of Christ in Bethlehem is the first moment when Jesus offers himself as nourishment for humanity – an offering that directly contradicts the selfishness and consumerist attitude of modern times.
Pope Francis had refugees and immigrants in mind on Christmas Eve, as he preached a homily extolling the Holy Family as an exemplar for today’s burgeoning numbers of people who find themselves unwillingly on the move.
Advent, which begins today, starts with the anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming, but then changes to focus on Jesus’ birth.
At the end of a year in which Pope Francis came under fire for adopting a nuanced line on divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, he argued Christians should reject becoming “narrow-minded, or prisoners of an all-or-nothing attitude that would force others to conform to our own ideas.”
The Lord Jesus, therefore, does not teach humanity as an outsider but as a human being, as someone within the human family. In approaching Jesus Christ, therefore, humanity can see greater light and more deeply understand its own dignity.
Today’s children, Pope Francis said on Christmas eve, are found “hiding underground to escape bombardment … [and] at the bottom of a boat overladen with immigrants. Let us be challenged by the children who are not allowed to be born … by those who do have not toys in their hands, but rather weapons.”