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    » 12/19/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: “if we do not recognise that God became man, what sense is there in celebrating Christmas?



    During the general audience Benedict XVI underlines the true meaning of God’s incarnation, who came to bring peace and justice. We ask, he adds, “that violence is defeated by the power of love, that opposition gives way to reconciliation, the will to dominate becomes desire to forgive to bring justice and peace”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “if we do not recognise that God became man, what sense is there in celebrating Christmas”, it becomes “empty”.  Benedict XVI once again invited the faithful to live the true meaning of Christmas today, the “gift” of God-with-us who came to bring peace and justice to the world.  “This faith and its great hope – the Pope told the 6 thousand pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI audience hall for the general audience – seem far removed from the reality of every day life, public and private, in a world that is increasingly chaotic and violent: we see it every day, if the light of truth goes out, then life becomes dark and without direction”.

    “As we draw near to Christmas – said the Pope – the Churches’ prayer grows more intense, so that the hope of peace, of salvation, of justice is realised.  A hope that the world still urgently needs today”.  In fact Christmas, on the one hand “gives us the wonder of the birth in a grotto” on the other it “exhorts us to hold vigil and pray to our Redeemer who will return at the end of time to judge us”.  “We believers too wait for justice to be done”, but waiting for justice in the Christian sense means above all “that we begin to live beneath the eyes of the Judge”.  By realising justice in our lifetime, “we can open the world to its coming, ready the world for the Saviour who comes and who never tires of meeting us in our daily lives”.  Humanity, “aims for justice” and “often unconsciously waits for the salvation which only God can bring”, it “awaits God”.

    “We ask God – he continues - that violence is defeated by the power of love, that opposition gives way to reconciliation, the will to dominate becomes desire to forgive to bring justice and peace”. And the “greetings of goodness and love which we exchange in this season spread to all areas of our daily lives.  That peace is in our hearts so that they can open to the grace and action of God”, “that peace reside in families, so that they may spend Christmas united around the Christmas tree and crib decorated by lights” and that “the message of solidarity and welcome that comes from Christmas helps to create new forms of charity towards the elderly and the poor”.  “All members of the family community, above all children, the old and the weakest may feel the warmth of this feast which is prolonged for all the days of the year”.

    May Christmas, he concluded, “be for all a feat of peace and of joy, joy for the birth of the Saviour, prince of peace” and “just as the shepherds we hurry towards Bethlehem, in the depths of the holy night, so that we too can contemplate this baby wrapped in swaddling and laid in a manger together with Mary and Joseph.  We ask the Lord to open our souls so that we can enter the mystery of Christmas”.

     

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    See also

    12/10/2011 VATICAN
    Pope calls for respect for the rights of all in Egypt, especially minorities
    Appeal of Benedict XVI who was "deeply saddened" by events in Cairo, "attempts to undermine peaceful coexistence." Support the efforts of the civil and religious authorities "for a society based on justice”. In his general audience, he comments on Psalm 126, which reminds us that, even in the midst of pain, "God is always present."

    21/12/2005 VATICAN
    The lights of Christmas, a reminder of the true Light
    Benedict XVI urges parents to pass on to the next generation the true meaning of the festivity even though in our modern, consumer-oriented culture Christian symbols have tended to disappear from Christmas celebrations.

    04/01/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: Christmas time spurs each of us to witness "the light that comes"
    In the first general audience of the New Year, Benedict XVI illustrates the meaning of the days from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, the "hiddenness of God" in human nature to its manifestation. Time of joy, "our wonder to see how God is close to us, how he acts in history" and of light, "but above all it is our accepting the Child so that his feelings, his thoughts, his actions become our feelings, our thoughts, our actions. "

    17/12/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: the economic crises is an opportunity to rediscover the real meaning of Christmas
    Stripped of the “accumulations of consumerism”, the memorial of Christ’s birth is “an opportunity to welcome the message of hope” of that “historic” event as a “personal gift”. Thoughts for the many children born into severe poverty, for newborn babies that are rejected and unwelcome, to those families who yearn for the joy of a child and have yet to see this realised.

    26/01/2011 VATICAN
    Joan of Arc, example of holiness for lay people involved in politics, says Pope
    Tracing the figure of the Maid of Orleans, Benedict XVI stresses her "luminous witness" that "calls for a high standard of Christian life: making prayer the mainstay of our days, following the will of God whatever it may be, living love without favouritisms and without limits. "



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