At the Angelus, Pope Francis extended his wishes to the Orthodox who celebrate Christmas tomorrow. “Christ’s light shine[s] in every place and at every moment [. . .] through the proclamation of the Gospel,” Francis said. “The star is Christ, but we too can and must also be the star for our brothers and sisters,” he added. The pontiff also expressed hope for peace in Central Africa.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis prayed the Angelus from the library of the Apostolic Palace, speaking first of all about the light promised by the prophets (see Isaiah 60:1-6).
In introducing the prayer, the pontiff said that Epiphany, which continues the event of Christmas, celebrates “the salvation wrought by Christ”, which “knows no boundaries”. The Nativity of Jesus is, in fact, “the light to be welcomed in faith and the light to bring to others in charity, through witness, in the proclamation of the Gospel.”
“This light,” Francis explained, “has the power to attract everyone, near and far; everyone sets out on the path to reach it (see v. 3). It is a vision that opens the heart, that makes the breath come easier, that invites hope. Certainly, the darkness is present and threatening in everyone’s life and in the story of humanity; but God’s light is more powerful.”
“[T]his light,” he added, “is the Baby of Bethlehem, it is Jesus, even if His kingship was not accepted by everyone. He is the star who appeared on the horizon, the awaited Messiah, the One through whom God would inaugurate His kingdom of love, of justice and of peace. He was born not only for some, but for all men and women, for all peoples.”
“How does Christ’s light shine in every place and at every moment? Not through the powerful means of this world’s empires who always seek to seize power. No, but through the proclamation of the Gospel. And with this same ‘method’, God chose to come among us: the Incarnation, that is, by drawing near to the other, encountering the other, assuming the reality of the other.”
“The star is Christ, but we too can and must also be the star for our brothers and sisters, as witnesses of the treasures of goodness and infinite mercy that the Redeemer offers freely to everyone.”
After the Marian prayer, the Pope extended his best wishes to Orthodox communities who celebrate Christmas tomorrow in accordance with the Julian calendar.
He also expressed hope for the people of Central Africa that they may walk “in peace” following that country’s presidential elections on 27 December.