It was a small change to the normal morning routine. Pope Francis held Mass at Casa Santa Marta. But his guests on this day, his 77th birthday, were the staff of Casa Santa Marta. The Pope said he wanted to spend his day among family.
But Mass also included several special guests, three homeless men staying near the Vatican, joined by the Pope's Almoner, Msgr. Konrad Krajewski. During his homily, Pope Francis talked about the permanent presence of God in people's lives.
"With Christmas near, let us think: if He has made his Story with us, if He has taken his last name from us, if He has let us write His story, at least let Him write our stories. That is holiness, letting the Lord write our story.”
The Pope co-celebrated Mass with Card. Angelo Sodano and Msgr. Pietro Parolin. After Mass, the Pope invited all the people in attendance to breakfast.
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S MASS
Source: Vatican Radio
Today’s Gospel reading was centered on the genealogy of Jesus and the Pope used this in his homily to reflect on God’s enduring presence in our lives throughout history. He said "God wished to live out his life alongside us” and "took his surname from each of us.”
"God,” the Pope continued, "has always walked alongside his people,” beginning with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He did not want to come to redeem us without coming to live among us and share our lives. The Pope said this long list of God’s people included "saints and sinners.” The latter included "high level sinners who committed serious sins and who didn’t listen” to God’s plans for them.
Pope Francis said in addition to accompanying us in our lives our God follows us and in this way, he displays His humility, His patience and His love for us. He concluded his homily with "a Christmas wish” for all of us "to allow God to write our lives for us.”