Pope Francis made pleas for peace as he delivered words of hope and comfort while condemning materialism’s place in Christmas celebrations during Christmas eve mass.
The central theme of the pope’s message this year was the need for harmony and fairness amid the wars and hardship wrecking the lives of many people around the world.
Speaking during the annual Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Pontiff said that the world had been ”taken hostage” by materialism which puts God in the shadows while blinding many to the needs of those in need.
”Jesus was born rejected by some and regarded by many others with indifference,” he said.
”Today also the same indifference can exist, when Christmas becomes a feast where the protagonists are ourselves, rather than Jesus; when the lights of commerce cast the light of God into the shadows; when we are concerned for gifts, but cold toward those who are marginalised.”
”If we want to celebrate Christmas authentically, we need to contemplate this sign: the fragile simplicity of a small newborn, the meekness of where he lies, the tender affection of the swaddling clothes. God is there,” the Pope said.
The Pope also had special words for the families of victims of terror attacks during a time when Italy and the Vatican was on high alert.
An Italian police officer had a few days ago killed the man believed to be responsible for the Berlin market truck attack. Those taking part in Saturday’s vigil mass inside St Peter’s Basilica had to pass through metal detectors.
”Peace to those who have lost a person dear to them as a result of the brutal acts of terrorism, which have sown fear and death into the hearts of so many countries and cities,” he said, addressing 40,000 people.