Pope at Mass: Advent is a time for purifying the faith
At the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis describes Advent as a good opportunity to understand more fully the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, and to cultivate a personal relationship with the Son of God.
By Vatican News
The time of Advent has three dimensions: the past, the future, and the present. In his homily, Pope Francis recalled that Advent, which began on Sunday, is a good time “for purifying the spirit, for making the faith grow with this purification.” The Pope was reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt 8:5-11), which recounts the meeting at Capernaum between Jesus and the centurion who asked him to heal his servant. Even today, he explained, it can happen that faith can become a habit for us; we can get used to it, forgetting its “liveliness.” When the faith becomes a habit, he said, “we lose that strength of the faith, that newness of the faith that is always renewed.”
Christmas must not become worldly
Pope Francis emphasised that the first dimension of Advent is the past, “the purification of memory”: We have to remember that Christmas is not about the birth of a Christmas tree, but about the birth of Jesus Christ:
Because the Lord who came then will return! He will return! He will return to ask us: “How did your life go?” It will be a personal encounter. We have a personal encounter with the Lord, today, in the Eucharist; we cannot have such a personal with the Christmas of 2000 years ago: we have the memorial of that. But when He will return, we will have that personal encounter. It is purifying hope.