Pope Francis explains the meaning of Christmas

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During his General Audience just few days before Christmas, Pope Francis reflected on the simplicity and humility which marked Jesus' birth.

He noted that Mary and Joseph humbly accepted laying the newborn Jesus in a stable manger, and that the Magi, who were not poor, “humbled themselves before the Infant King.”

Pope Francis explained that “all men and women are called to worship the newborn Christ.” He invited them to ask God for humility on this path.


Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In these days before Christmas, we reflect on the events surrounding the birth of our Savior, which was marked, above all, by simplicity and humility. This was the path, in God’s loving plan, taken by Mary and Joseph, who obediently traveled to the simple town of Bethlehem, and humbly accepted laying the newborn Christ in a manger (cf Lk 2:1- 7).

The lowly shepherds were the first to witness the Incarnate Son of God. The Magi too, while not materially poor, humbled themselves before the Infant King, who reveals God’s love for the people of every nation.

All men and women are called to worship the newborn Christ, who especially identified himself with the poor. Saint Paul VI taught that the poor are in a certain sense the sacrament of Christ. While we are called to love and assist them in works of charity, it is the poor who help us, by pointing us to the surest path to the Kingdom of God: that of humility (cf. Homily, 1 May 1969).

This Christmas, by humbly recognizing the unconditional love that God revealed to us in the Word made flesh, may we experience the healing, joy and peace brought by the Child Jesus.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I invoke upon you and your families joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!

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