24 December 2015
God is in love with us, avoid consumerism, Pope Francis tells faithful
In his Midnight Mass homily Pope Francis said Christians should reject consumerism and instead live in a sober and balanced way.
“In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, this Child calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential,” the Pope said.
During Mass in St Peter’s this evening Francis also stressed the birth of Christ calls people out of indifference or doubt and to see that joy and gladness have come into the world.
“Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life should instead be devout, filled with empathy, compassion and mercy, drawn daily from the wellspring of prayer,” the Pope explained.
“There is no room for the indifference which reigns in the hearts of those unable to love for fear of losing something. All sadness has been banished, for the Child Jesus brings true comfort to every heart.”
The Pope said: “Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey’s end. Now must we put away all fear and dread, for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem. We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle. We must set out to see our Saviour lying in a manger.”
Francis’ Christmas message came a day after he was awarded the ancient Charlemagne prize, given out to those who have made a contribution to European unification.
A communique by the prize committee said the Pope had sent a “message of hope and encouragement" at a time in which "many citizens in Europe are seeking orientation”.
Francis has urged the Church across Europe to welcome refugees flooding into the continent and early on in his pontificate highlighted the plight of migrants coming to southern Italy from north Africa on makeshift rafts by visiting the island of Lampedusa.
The committee said the Pope had provided a message that said “the time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe which is fearful and self-absorbed."
That commitment to a message of hope and encouragement was highlighted earlier in the day when Pope Francis' twitter account published a simple and joyful message for Christmas: "God is in love with us. He becomes small to help us love him in return".
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