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Pope Francis in Santa Marta: At Christmas, we run the risk of forgetting the Lord


In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the pope warned against the danger of forgetting the profound meaning of Christmas. 

POPE FRANCIS
“Yes, the feast... we are always in danger, we will always have in us the temptation to make Christmas mundane; to 'mundanize' it. When the feast ceases to be contemplation, a beautiful family feast with Jesus in the center, and begins to be a 'worldly' feast: shopping, gifts, this and that... then the Lord remains there, forgotten.”

Pope Francis said the Advent period is a period that serves to purify the heart and prepare one for a personal encounter with God.

EXTRACTS FROM THE PAPAL HOMILY

(Source: Vatican News)

“The Lord is born, the Redeemer who has come to save us. Yes, it is a celebration… [but] we always face the danger, we will always have within us the temptation to make Christmas mundane, worldly… When the celebration stops being about contemplation—a beautiful family celebration with Jesus at the center—it begins to be a worldly celebration: all about shopping, presents, this and that… and the Lord remains there, forgotten. Even in our own life: yes, He is born, at Bethlehem, but [then what?]… Advent is [a time] for purifying the memory of this time past, of that dimension.”

“Because the Lord who came then will return! He will return! He will return to ask us: “How did your life go?” It will be a personal encounter. We have a personal encounter with the Lord, today, in the Eucharist; we cannot have such a personal with the Christmas of 2000 years ago: we have the memorial of that. But when He will return, we will have that personal encounter. It is purifying hope.”

“The third dimension is more daily: purifying our watchfulness. Vigilance and prayer are two words for Advent: Because historically the Lord came in Bethlehem; and He will come, at the end of the world and also at the end of our individual lives. But every day, every moment, He comes into our hearts, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”