Pope: During Advent ask what we should do for Jesus and others

At the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis says the Advent Season is about asking ourselves how to prepare for Christmas and what we can do for Jesus and others, concretely, in our lives. He also blessed the statues of the Child Jesus brought by children to St. Peter's Square on this Third Sunday of Advent.

By Vatican News staff writer

During the Angelus on this Third Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis greeted the many pilgrims present, including many families with their children, who brought little statuettes of the Child Jesus to be blessed on this day, known as "Bambinelli Sunday". Saint Pope Paul VI started this tradition over fifty years ago.

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking the Square, Pope Francis greeted the children present, wishing them and their families a blessed Christmas. He blessed the figurines of the Child Jesus they brought with them to be placed in their Christmas nativity scenes back home.

One of the figurines of the Child Jesus the Pope blessed
One of the figurines of the Child Jesus the Pope blessed

He also offered special greetings to pilgrims from Latin America present in St. Peter's Square as part of a group dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast is celebrated annually on December 12. He also greeted all those from Caritas Internationalis celebrating their 70th anniversary, and praised their work helping the most vulnerable in the world, especially those affected by environmental degradation. 

What should we do?

Before leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope reflected on today's Gospel reading, which recounts John the Baptist responding to those who come to him asking how to change their lives for the better, since their hearts were touched by the Lord. It reflects an enthusiasm for the Lord's coming and a desire to prepare themselves concretely for this joyous, life-changing experience. In the same way, we too should ask ourselves what we should do within our own lives, the Pope suggested, and reflect on what we are called to do and become.

Figurines of the Child Jesus blessed by the Pope today
Figurines of the Child Jesus blessed by the Pope today

Each of us has a mission to accomplish

The question of what we are to do recalls that "life has a task for us", the Pope said. It is not something left to chance, but rather, "It is a gift that the Lord grants us", since He asks to discover ourselves and "to work hard to make the dream that is your life come true". We all have a mission to accomplish, he explained, and we should not be afraid to ask the Lord this question often: What can we do for the Lord, and what can we for ourselves, our brothers and sisters, the Pope asked, and how can this be translated concretely into contributing to the good of the Church and society? Advent is the time we need "to stop and ask ourselves how to prepare for Christmas", what we should do for Jesus and others.

Pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square for the 12 December Angelus
Pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square for the 12 December Angelus

Faith is incarnated in concrete actions

John the Baptist, in responding to those who ask him "what should we do?", gives each person a very concrete reply to their life situation. And this offers a precious teaching, the Pope said, that "faith is incarnated in concrete life", touching us personally and transforming our lives.

In conclusion, he encouraged everyone to think concretely about what we can do, small or big, in our own lives as we prepare for Christmas. This could mean visiting someone who is alone, helping the elderly or the ill, or serving the poor or someone in need. It may also mean asking for forgiveness for our mistakes, paying a debt, clarifying a misunderstanding, or praying more. We can all find something concrete to do, the Pope emphasized, adding, "May the Blessed Mother help us!"

Listen to Aloysius John, Scretary General of Caritas Internationalis, present in Saint Peter's Square for the Angelus

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12 December 2021, 12:20

The Angelus is a special prayer recited by Catholics three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The name comes from the Latin word for Angel and the prayer itself reminds us of how Jesus Christ assumed our human nature through the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The Pope recites the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square every Sunday at midday.
He also gives a brief reflection on the Gospel of the day and often comments on some issue of international concern. The Pope’s words are broadcast all over the world on radio and television and widely shared on social media.
From Easter to Pentecost the Regina Coeli is prayed instead of the Angelus. This prayer commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and, like the Angelus, concludes with the recitation of the Gloria three times.

Latest Angelus / Regina Coeli

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