ROME – With Christmas simply days away, Pope Francis on Sunday urged Catholics to not get carried away with shopping for presents and last-minute errands, however as a substitute to deal with welcoming Jesus into their hearts.
“Allow us to go pray, as a substitute of being carried ahead by consumerism,” the pope stated in his Dec. 20 Angelus handle, urging devoted to not get wrapped up in ideas resembling, “I’ve to purchase presents; I’ve to this and that.”
That is “the frenzy of doing so many issues, however the essential factor is Jesus,” he stated, including, “Consumerism, brothers and sisters, has stolen Christmas from us. Consumerism is just not within the manger of Bethlehem. There we discover actuality, poverty, and love.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Sq. for his weekly Sunday Angelus handle, which is the pope’s solely public viewers nonetheless being held in particular person amid Italy’s vacation coronavirus crackdown.
On Saturday, the Italian authorities introduced a brand new nationwide lockdown for the Christmas holidays, declaring all the nation a ‘purple zone’ for the times of Dec. 24-27, and Dec. 31-Jan. 6, the Catholic feast of the Epiphany, that means all outlets and eating places will probably be shuttered, regional borders closed, and residents won’t be allowed to depart their properties other than sure “pressing” causes of necessity.
The times in between, Dec. 28-30, Italy will probably be an ‘orange zone,’ that means some outlets and eating places will probably be open, however for restricted hours, and there will probably be restrictions on motion inside areas.
Chatting with these gathered in St. Peter’s sq. to listen to his Angelus handle, the pope mirrored on Mary’s response to the angel saying Jesus’s beginning, “let it’s performed unto me in response to your phrase.”
“She may have requested for slightly time to consider it, and even for extra explanations about what would occur; maybe she may have set some circumstances,” he stated. As an alternative, she “doesn’t take time, she doesn’t maintain God ready, she doesn’t delay.”
Francis inspired devoted all through the world to say their very own ‘sure’ to Jesus at Christmas with out making excuses.
“As an alternative of complaining in these troublesome occasions about what the pandemic prevents us from doing, allow us to do one thing for somebody who has much less: not the umpteenth reward for ourselves and our pals, however for an individual in want whom no-one thinks of,” he stated.
He prayed that for every particular person, Christmas can be an event of “inside renewal of prayer, of conversion, of steps ahead in our religion, and of brotherhood amongst ourselves.”
Urging Christians to show to these in want through the holidays, Pope Francis stated those that are struggling “belong to us. It’s Jesus within the manger, the one who suffers is Jesus.”
“Could Christmas be a time of drawing nearer to Jesus on this brother or sister,” he stated, including, “Within the needy brother, the manger to which we should always draw close to with solidarity, that is the residing nativity; the nativity is assembly the true redeemer in those that are in want.”