Pope Francis Pope Francis  

Pope: We must rediscover the true richness of Christmas

Addressing the delegations from Sutrio, Rosello and Guatemala, who have gifted this year's tree and nativity scenes in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis draws attention to the true meaning of Christmas.

By Lisa Zengarini

"To meet God we must reach Him where he is; we need to lower ourselves, to make ourselves small”, like Jesus did by coming to birth in a stable. Pope Francis made this remark on Saturday,  as received three delegations from the Italian villages of Sutrio,and Rosello, and from Guatemala, who gifted the Vatican with this year's Christmas tree and two nativity scenes.

The  two crèches, installed in St. Peter’s Square and in the  Paul VI Audience Hall,  will be  be unveiled this afternoon  during the traditional  Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony which will take  in the Hall and not in St. Peter's Square  due to bad weather.

Like trees we need roots

After thanking the delegations, and in particular those involved in their making, Pope Francis drew attention to the significance and the symbolism behind the Christmas Tree and crib.  

“The tree, with its lights”, he said , reminds us of Jesus who comes to illuminate our darkness, our existence often locked up in the shadow of sin, fear and pain”. But it also suggests the idea that, like trees we need roots, “solid foundations”   to remain firm, grow and  resist the winds of life. It is therefore important “ to cherish the roots, in life as in faith”, Pope Francis stressed.

Jesus' littleness

He then reflected on the the significance of the crib , which “speaks to us of the birth of the Son of God who became Man to be close to each one of us”.

"In its genuine poverty", the Pope said "the nativity scene helps us to rediscover the true richness of Christmas”, a different  Christmas “from the consumerist and commercial one”. It helps us “to become intimate with God, with the fragile simplicity of a small newborn, with the meekness of his being laid down, with the tender affection of the swaddling clothes that surround him”.

The true richness of Christmas

The Pope therefore invited to  rediscover the surprise and amazement of littleness through the nativity scene, "the littleness of God, who makes himself small, who is not born in the splendor of appearances, but in the poverty of a stable”.



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03 December 2022, 16:20