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Pope to Roman Parish: Remember that Christmas is not about gifts or parties

 The Pope left the Vatican for a few hours to visit a local Roman parish, San Giuseppe all'Aurelio.  The celebration marked the Third Sunday of Advent, which is also known as the Sunday of joy. In his homily, the Pope talked about why Christians should reflect the happiness that comes with the season.  POPE FRANCIS "On this Sunday, the Church looks ahead to the joy of Christmas, which is precisely why it's known as the Sunday of joy.â?  He reminded the parishioners that Christmas is about a lot more than gifts and parties.  POPE FRANCIS "Some will say, 'Father we organized a party and everyone is happy.' This is fine. Parties are good, but they are not the core of the Christian joy we're talking about.â?  He then explained that Christian joy is one that comes with prayer and with giving thanks to God.  POPE FRANCIS "So how should we give thanks? Reflect on your life and think about all the good things you have. There are so many of them. Some will say, 'yes, but my life has had its share of bad things.' Yes, that's true, but that happens to every one of us. Think about the positive. There are  people who don't know how to give thanks to God. They're always complaining about something. There was this nun I knew, not here. She was a good person, she worked, but she always complained. She complained about everything....In the convent, they nicknamed her, Sister Complaints.â?  He also talked about the need for Christians to embrace the joys that come with the Gospel and to share it with others.  In his visit, the Pope also met with the sick and also with children. He also took the time to confess some of the parishioners.  Before going back to the Vatican, he took a pictures with the choir.  JRB/KLH  CTV JM -BN Up: MPI #Pope