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For Your Marriage

Teachings about Catholic marriage from our Holy Father.

Midnight Mass for Christmas

Pope Francis celebrated Midnight Mass for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 25, 2016. In his homily, he spoke of Christmas night as a night of glory, a night of joy, and a night of light. He said that to celebrate Christmas authentically, we must contemplate Jesus: “the frail simplicity of a newborn child, the meekness with which he is placed in a manger, the tender affection with which he is wrapped in his swaddling clothes.” The pope goes on to say, “That is where God is.”

Christmas, too, challenges us to care for all of the children of the world “who are lying not in a crib, caressed with affection by their mothers and fathers.” Pope Francis draws us attention to “children who hide underground to escape bombardment, on the pavements of large cities, in the hold of a boat overladen with immigrants.” He exhorts us to be “challenged by those children who are not allowed to be born, by those who cry because no one relieves their hunger, by those who hold in their hands not toys, but weapons.”

And yet despite the sadness and suffering that still exist even during the holiday season, Christmas above all brings us “a taste of hope,” says Pope Francis. “God’s light shines forth” in the Child in the manger. Born in Bethlehem – “which means ‘house of bread’” – the baby Jesus has been born as bread for us. “There is a straight line between the manger and the cross,” says the Holy Father, “where Jesus will become bread that is broken. It is the straight line of love that gives and saves, the love that brings light to our lives and peace to our hearts.”

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