Christmas is the night of contrasts, but it is these apparent contradictions that will save the world. This is the message insisted on by Pope Francis, during the Christmas night mass, celebrated at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Friday, December 24. During his homily, Francis commented at length on the “Smallness” of this “Poor swaddled child, surrounded by shepherds”, born in the dead of night in a small town in Palestine.
“Smallness is the way he chose to join us, to touch our hearts, to save us and bring us back to what matters”, thus exhorted François, after having praised, the day before in front of the Curia, “Humility”. He described Jesus as the sign of a “Scandalous astonishment”, apparently contradictory, that of the God who becomes a child.
Jesus, he described, is “The one who embraces the universe” while having “Need to be held in the arms”, Who “Made the sun” corn “Needs to be warmed up”. It is “Tenderness in person who needs to be pampered, continued the Pope. Infinite love has a tiny heart, with low beats. The Eternal Word is childish. “
At the start of Mass, Pope Francis unveiled, accompanied by ten children from four continents, the reproduction of the infant Jesus to be placed in front of the altar of the basilica, while waiting to be carried in the manger at the end. of the ceremony.
Jesus is born to serve, and we spend our time chasing success
This almighty God came to incarnate, judged Francis, indicates that at Christmas, “Everything is reversed”. Whereas “The Most High indicates humility”, “We want to appear”. Whereas ” Jesus is born to serve ”,“ we spend our time chasing success ”, noted François, who encouraged everyone to “Concretely, to welcome smallness”.
For this, Francis recalled that Jesus “Wants to come into the little things of our lives, he wants to inhabit daily realities, the simple gestures that we perform at home, in family, at school, at work”. “It is in our ordinary lives that he wants to achieve extraordinary things”, he hammered.
During his homily delivered in front of 2,000 faithful, as well as members of the Curia and members of the diplomatic corps, the Pope adopted, as he often does for major holidays, the tone of a priest close to his community. “Tonight (God) is saying to you, ‘I love you the way you are. Your smallness does not frighten me, your weaknesses do not worry me. I made myself small for you ””, underlined the Pope.
To love the last, to serve the poor
Corn “Welcome the littleness of Jesus” also means, continued François, “Embrace Jesus in the little ones of today”, that is to say “To love him in the last, to serve him in the poor”. ” The essential “, he said, is there. Of “To stand in a fraternity stronger than all the categories”, as did the wise men and the shepherds, rich and poor, learned and simple. “May God grant us to be a worshiping, poor and fraternal Church”, begged the Pope, in a phrase recalling that of the very beginnings of his pontificate, when he had wished for a “Poor Church for the Poor”.
While he said in an interview, published the same morning in two Italian dailies, to be particularly concerned about the situation of the poorest, during this Christmas period, François encouraged: “To embrace littleness means one more thing: to embrace Jesus in the little ones of today. That is to say, to love him in the last, to serve him in the poor. “
“He who has not found Heaven here below will miss him above”, he continued, citing, as he had done last year, the American poet Emily Dickinson. “Let’s not lose sight of Heaven, he added. Let us take care of Jesus right now, pampering him in the needy, because he identified himself with them. ” Before launching: “Jesus was born there, near them, near those forgotten on the outskirts. ” Words that continued to resonate in the basilica where a choir of children sang a few moments later the traditional Christmas song “Sweet Night”.