Pope Francis delivered his first Christmas homily tonight, and like much of what he has said since ascending to the papacy, he spoke of love and compassion.
As was befitting of the occasion, however, the pope spoke in a less pointed manner.
“On this night, let us share the joy of the Gospel. God loves us. He so loves us that he gave us his son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats, ‘Do not be afraid.’ And I, too, repeat, do not be afraid.”
He did, however, continue to stress the necessity of reorienting the church mission so that it might be more inclusive.
“In our personal history, too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light,” he said.
“But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us, and around us. Whoever hates his brother — writes the Apostle John — is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
After delivering his homily, Pope Francis practiced what he preached and spent three hours at a local hospital administering to sick children.
Watch video of Pope Francis’s first Christmas homily below.
[Image via AFP]