Pope Francis on Friday exhorted Christians to keep clear of a fake, commercial Christmas, polluted by consumerism and indifference. He made the remark to a group of three delegations who donated two Nativity Scenes and a Christmas tree to the Vatican this year.
This year’s Nativity Scene in St. Peter Square’s is a gift from Peru and comes from the Chopcca Nation, which comprises several communities located in the Huancavelica region in the highlands of the Andes mountains.
The crib – the universal call to salvation
Addressing the groups, Pope Francis reflected on the meaning of Christmas. The characters in the crib made from materials and clothes characteristic of the area, he said, “represent the peoples of the Andes and symbolize the universal call to salvation”. “Jesus, in fact, came to earth in the concreteness of a people to save every man and woman, of all cultures and nationalities. He made Himself small so that we could welcome Him and receive the gift of God's tenderness.”
Christmas tree - rebirth
On the other hand, the fir tree is a sign of Christ, the tree of life, a tree to which man had no access because of sin, the Pope said. With the birth of Christ, divine life joined human life. Hence the Christmas tree evokes rebirth, the gift of God who unites Himself with man forever, who gives us His life. “The lights of the fir tree recall that of Jesus, the light of love that continues to shine in the nights of the world.”
Consumerism and indifference
The Holy Father invited Christians to keep to the true spirit of Christmas, urging, “Let us not allow it to be polluted by consumerism and indifference.” The symbols of the crib and the tree bring back the certainty that fills our hearts with the peace and joy that lives with us and gives us hope. The tree and the crib introduce us to the typical Christmas atmosphere of tenderness, sharing and family intimacy mood. “Let us not experience a fake, commercial Christmas!” the Pope exhorted, adding, “Let us allow ourselves to be enveloped by God's compassionate and tender closeness, and by the Christmas atmosphere that art, music, songs and traditions bring to our hearts.”
At Christmas, God comes to be with us and asks us to take care of our brothers and sisters, especially the poorest, the weakest and the most fragile, whom the pandemic marginalizes even further, the Pope added.
Read full report on Vatican News
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