Pope Francis on Christmas

FOR too long, we have witnessed how materialism and crass commercialism have led us to lose the true significance of Christmas in our lives. To help bring us back to the path of how Christmas should touch our lives, we are reprinting below the words of Pope Francis last year that have since been silenced by the din of holiday celebration. Let his words bring us back to the true meaning of Jesus’ birth, Christmas, in our daily lives.

OF POPE FRANCIS, 25 December 2013

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours (Lk 2:14)

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the whole world, Greetings and Happy Christmas!

I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. It is a song which unites heaven and earth, giving praise and glory to heaven, and the promise of peace to earth and all its people.

I ask everyone to share in this song: it is a song for every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty.

Glory to God!

Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful. Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus. My hope is that everyone will feel God’s closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him.

May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.”

We say, Amen.

*          *          *          *          *          *

God with us

IT lifts the spirit.  It gives us hope.  It means God is with us—perpetually.

That, in essence, would be the profound meaning of the coming of Pope Francis to the Philippines on Jan. 15-19.

Let us add the forthcoming papal arrival to our limitless joy this Christmas as it underscores once more the Vatican’s latent love for us. Let us rejoice and pray that Jesus Christ shower his blessing upon Pope Francis for this momentous journey to Asia’s biggest Roman Catholic congregation.

It will mark the first time that the Vicar of Christ will set foot on Philippine soil since the now Saint John Paul II visited us in 1995, duplicating his first trip here in 1981.  Paul VI made Vatican history in 1970 when he became the first Pope to visit the Philippines.

Forty-four years later, it is the turn of Pope Francis to bond with us. We are the Chosen One, indeed, as the Pope’s visit brings God back to us once again.  Ring the bells and be merry.

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