“ETonight our heart is with Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace continues to be rejected by the losing logic of war, with the roar of weapons that also today prevent him from finding a shelter in the world”, said the Pope at the beginning of his homily , thus recalling the war in Gaza.
The Pope’s remaining homily was dedicated to the moment of Jesus’ birth, which took place at a time “of the census of the whole earth”, which for Francis “manifests, on the one hand, the all-too-human confluence that runs through history: that of a world that seeks power and strength, fame and glory, where everything is measured with successes and results, with figures and numbers”.
“It’s the obsession with benefit”, said the Pope, before the 6,500 people who filled the basilica, while a few thousand were also in the square following the mass on screens.
Francis assured that “there is a risk of living Christmas with a pagan idea of God, as if he were a powerful master in heaven; a god who allies himself with power, with worldly success and with the idolatry of consumerism.”
As in previous years, the traditional Midnight Mass was celebrated at 7:30 pm local time (6:30 pm in Lisbon) and Francisco remained seated next to the altar due to his mobility problems, from where he delivered the homily.
During the homily, the pontiff also rejected “the false image of a distant and irritable god, who behaves well with the good and gets angry with the bad; of a god made in our image, only useful for solving problems and for us deliver us from evils.”
“He, on the contrary, does not use the magic wand, he is not the commercial god of everything and the right now. He does not save us by pressing a button, but he approaches to change reality from within”, he pointed out.
The Pope also lamented that among Catholics “the worldly idea of a distant, controlling, rigid and powerful god is implanted, who helps his own to impose themselves on others”.
He further stated that for God, “who altered history during the census, you are not a number, but a face; your name is written in his heart”.
And he added: “Tonight love changes history. Make us believe, oh Lord, in the power of your love, so different from the power of the world.”
After the Angelus prayer this morning, Jorge Bergoglio will appear again on Monday on the central balcony of the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Basilica, the same one where he was elected Pope in 2013, to read his Christmas message and promote the traditional blessing ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (to the city and the world).
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See images from the celebration in the gallery above.
Read Also: Pope celebrates Midnight Mass “with his heart in Bethlehem”
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