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Pope explains meaning of Christmas during general audience

2011-12-21

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Christmas approaches, I offer prayerful good wishes to you and your families for a spiritually fruitful celebration of the Lord’s birth.  

At Midnight Mass, we sing: “Today a Saviour is born for us”.  This “Today” evokes an eternal present, for the mystery of Christ’s coming transcends time and permeates all history.  “Today” – every day - we are invited to discover the presence of God’s saving love in our midst.  

In the birth of Jesus, God comes to us and asks us to receive him, so that he can be born in our lives and transform them, and our world, by the power of his love.  

The Christmas liturgy also invites us to contemplate Christ’s birth against the backdrop of his paschal mystery.  Christmas points beyond itself, to the redemption won for us on the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection.  

May this Christmas fill you with joy in the knowledge that God has drawn near to us and is with us at every moment of our lives.  


I greet all the English-speaking visitors present, including the pilgrimage groups from Singapore and the United States.  

My special greetings and good wishes go to the Tenth World Congress of the International Association of Maternal and Neonatal Health.  My greeting also goes to the primary school children from Korea.  I welcome the alumni of the Pontifical North American College who are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary of ordination, and the students of Holy Spirit Seminary in Brisbane, Australia.  Upon all of you and your families I invoke God’s abundant blessings.  Merry Christmas!