By Robin Gomes
“Christmas is a feast that is heart-felt, participatory and capable of warming the coldest of hearts, that removes barriers of indifference towards neighbours and encourages openness towards others and free giving.” “This is why we need even today to spread the message of peace and brotherhood of Christmas,” Pope Francis said on Friday. He was speaking to some 180 artists of the “Christmas Concert” that will be performing in the Vatican Saturday evening.
Concert for children
The charity concert is marking its 25 years this year. Funds raised by the concert in the Vatican will support two children’s projects: the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, headquartered in Argentina and a programme to free children enslaved in the coltan mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Sensitive to the needy
The Pope thanked the promoters, artists and those who will be attending the concert, manifesting their sensitiveness to the most needy and those in difficulty who call for our help and solidarity. Explaining that art is a formidable means to open the doors of the mind and heart to the true meaning of Christmas, the Holy Father said “the creativity and genius of artists, with their work, music and singing are able to reach the innermost depths of the conscience.”
The Pope wished that Christmas Concert in the Vatican be an occasion for spreading “tenderness, peace and welcome” that gushes forth from the grotto of Bethlehem. He said that ‘tenderness’, the much forgotten word today amidst “violence and war”, needs to be spread.