Pope at Te Deum: God does not choose us because of our 'brilliance'
The pope closed 2019 with the Te Deum prayer in St. Peter's Basilica. It is a Catholic tradition to thank God for the year's blessings.
During his homily, the pope reflected on the importance of seemingly insignificant people and places in God's plan of salvation.
“God's decision is clear. To reveal His love, He chooses a small city, a despised city. When He reaches Jerusalem, He joins the population of sinners and castaways. When God wants to make all things new through His son, He begins not in the temple, but in the womb of a small, poor woman of His people.”
As Bishop of Rome, he then addressed the Roman people, encouraging them to remain hopeful amid the city's hardships.
“Rome is not just a complicated city, with its share of problems, inequalities, corruption and social tensions. Rome is a city where God sends His Word, which remains through the Holy Spirit, in the heart of its people. It impels them to believe and hope, despite everything, and to love while fighting for the good of all.”
He concluded his homily by challenging Christians to actively encounter others and listen to the cry of those in need.
“We shouldn't be scared or feel inadequate in front of such an important mission. Let us remember it: God does not choose us because of our 'brilliance,' but precisely because we are and feel small.”
Those gathered spent a moment in silent prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Then the pope went to pray before the statue of Mary.
After vespers, Pope Francis made his way to St. Peter's Square to pay a visit to the Nativity scene.
He stopped to greet many of the pilgrims gathered, like this baby and her dad.
Not everyone was so calm. One woman yanked the pope toward her, making him slap her hand away.
This didn't stop the pope from finishing his walk through the square and enjoying the final hours of 2019.