Skip to main content


Stripped of the “accumulations of consumerism”, the memorial of Christ’s birth is “an opportunity to welcome the message of hope.”

VATICAN CITY (AsiaNews) – The difficulties of an economic crises that have hit so many families “can become an opportunity and a stimulus” to free Christmas from the “accumulations of consumerism” which reduce it to an occasion for the sole purpose of buying and exchanging gifts” and help us to “rediscover the warmth of solidarity, of friendship” the “warmth of Christmas”, the “message if Christ’s birth”.

The “rediscovery” of the true meaning of Christ’s birth, as “an opportunity to welcome as a personal gift the message of hope that irradiates from Christ’s birth” was the appeal that Benedict XVI launched today to five thousand people present at the general audience, during which Christmas hymns resounded throughout the Paul VI hall, courtesy of a group of “zampognari”, pipe players from Northern Italy.

For the Church the beginning of the Christmas novena is moment in which it “prepares to unite itself to the joyous chorus of the angels” that “on that night invited the shepherds to make their way to the stable”. And Christmas, revealed the Pope “is a universal feast and even non believers perceive something extraordinary, something transcendent in this season, which speaks to the heart.

Christmas is a feast that speaks of the gift of life. The birth of a child is always something that brings great joy, and the embrace of a newborn moves one to tenderness”. “How can we not think of those many children born into poverty throughout the world – he added -to those newborns who are rejected and not welcomed, those who will not survive because of lack of care and attention, those families who yearn for the joy of a child and have yet to see this realised”.

On the memorial of Our Lord’s birth, continued Benedict XVI, “Christians so not celebrate the birth of a great man or the end of a season", but “the pivotal moment in history: the incarnation of the Divine Word for the salvation of humanity”. “The mystery of our salvation is renewed”. St Paul comes back again and again to this truth in his letter to the Galatians, “God sent his son born of a woman”. Or in his letter to the Romans, “if we are children of God we are also heirs of God….,” but it is above all “St John who meditates on the mystery of the incarnation” and for this in the Christmas liturgy since the earliest of times his “Et Verbum caro factum est…”, the Word was made Flesh, is used.

It is “something so concrete and essential for the faith” a “historic event that Light becomes an essential and concrete part of faith” a “historical event that Light puts into a real context”, the first census. On that “historic night” in Bethlehem, “a really great light was born”: “the creator of the universe became flesh, thus irrevocably uniting himself to humanity”. “But is it possible? A God who becomes a child? We need to bow our heads and recognise the limits of our intelligence. God became a child to defeat our superbia”.

He could have demonstrated his power, “but he does not want our surrender”, “he wants to set us truly free, to love Him”. “God came to communicate the truth that saves directly to us” and “make us participants in his life”.
Therefore “May Christmas be a privileged opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of our existence”, and to renew it. “Let us ready ourselves – he concluded – to receive this gift of joy, of light and of peace”, “to become people who do not think only of themselves, but who are open to the needs and expectations of others”. “Happy Christmas

Keywords:



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 2 of 2 Comments

  1. Chris Ruff
    6 years ago

    Next to last paragraph - "God became a child to defeat our pride/arrogance." That is what the Italian word "superbia" means. Anyway, beautiful piece!!

  2. Holly
    6 years ago

    My attempt at the true meaning of Christmas. My father reminded me some years ago about what its all about. Im not trying to be a spoiled sport but Christmas ain't about the PRESENTS--
    Its about a little child who came into the world and gave us the gift of love and salvation.
    So lets try not to forget that this season.
    Lets try to give him a present.
    Lets pray for our Brothers and Sisters around the world who are being persecuted wherever it maybe.
    Thats my hope that it subsides a little for them.
    Suffering never goes away from us but I think were supposed to offer it up for everyone else if possible.
    LOVE IN CHRIST AND MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND BETTER YEARS AHEAD FOR ALL--
    BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Great Christmas Gift Ideas