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Look beyond the lights and remember the poor, Pope Francis says on Christmas eve

Pope Francis, who is leading the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas, said that those who are indifferent to the poor offend God, asking everyone to ‘look beyond all the lights and decorations’ and remember the needy. Ushering in the ninth Christmas of his pontificate, Pope Francis celebrated a solemn vigil Mass for roughly 2,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica, with participation limited by COVID-19 to about a quarter of the number of pre-pandemic years.

‘Brothers and sisters, standing before the crib, we contemplate what is central, beyond all the lights and decorations, which are beautiful. We contemplate the child’ he said in the homily of the Mass, which was attended by almost 200 cardinals, bishops, and priests. ‘On this night of love, may we have only one fear: that of offending God’s love, hurting him by despising the poor with our indifference. Jesus loves them dearly, and one day they will welcome us to heaven’, he added.

Francis said that baby Jesus born in poverty should remind people that serving others is more essential than pursuing prestige or social visibility or spending a life pursuing success. He also added that the working people – the shepherds – were the first to glimpse baby Jesus in Bethlehem, and that labour must be treated with dignity, lamenting the fact that many people die in workplace accidents around the world.


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