For the pope, a world order based on the unlimited satisfaction of individual wants is unattainable, and the attempt to reach it destructive of the world around us, and of the peace of our inner worlds. As he wrote 18 months ago in his powerful encyclical on the environment: “When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume.
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The dream of God came true when a star appears in Israel, Christ the Lord, as the Lord has promised (Nm 24:17). His light drives away the darkness created by ancestral hates and convokes all the people in one family. This is the message of hope of the Epiphany, the feast of light.
Today's solemnity, Mary Mother of God, puts a deep theological focus on the Christmas celebration. Going back to our dogmatic theology, the study of the truths of the faith, we focus in on whom this Jesus is. By asking the who question, as distinguished from the what question, we are looking to the person of the Lord.
Merry Christmas, everyone. This is a beautiful time of the year. It is a time to celebrate family and friends, it is a time of warmth, a time of peace. Like most of you, I like driving at night through the subdivisions looking at Christmas lights. Although many people are trying to eliminate the religious significance of Christmas, the very existence of all the lights points to Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the World.
Carlo remains an inspiration, especially to teenagers who aren’t sure whether they could be both holy and “normal” and individually unique. “All people are born as originals,” he said, “but many die as photocopies.” To die as an “original,” Carlo maintained, was to be guided by Christ, and to look at Him constantly.
In the expression of John, “the Word was made flesh” (Jn 1:14) the term flesh indicates not only the corporeality but the whole human being understood in its appearance of weakness, fragility, and limits imposed by the fact of being a creature.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John” (Jn 1:6). He was destined to prepare Israel for the coming of the Messiah. “Repent—he said—because the kingdom of the heaven is now at hand” (Mt 3:2).
A great Christmas present, an experience of God. You and I need to do this, because we have the blessing of being called into the Kingdom of God. Not by appearances does the Lord judge, but by justice, and kindness, and the determination to let the presence of God prepare others to enter His Kingdom. This is justice. And this justice will transform the world. That is our Advent Hope.
Stay Awake and Hope. This week we begin the Church year with a call to stay awake. Paul tells us in Romans 13, our second reading, that we must wake from our sleep because our salvation is nearer now then when we first believed.