St. Peter's Square
Sunday, January 5, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
On this second Sunday of Christmas time, the biblical readings help us to widen our gaze, to have a full awareness of the meaning of the birth of Jesus.
The Gospel, with the Prologue of Saint John, shows us the shocking newness: the eternal Word, the Son of God, "became flesh" (v. 14). Not only did he come to live among the people, but he became one of the people, one of us! After this event, to guide our life we no longer have only a law, an institution, but a Person, a divine Person, Jesus, who directs our life, makes us go on the road because He made it before.
Saint Paul blesses God for his loving plan made in Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1: 3-6.15-18). In this design, each of us finds its own fundamental vocation. Which? Thus says Paul: we are predestined to be children of God through the work of Jesus Christ. The Son of God became man to make us men, children of God. This is why the eternal Son became flesh: to introduce us into his filial relationship with the Father.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, while we continue to contemplate the admirable sign of the Nativity scene, today's Liturgy tells us that the Gospel of Christ is not a fairy tale, it is not a myth, an edifying story, no. The Gospel of Christ is the full revelation of God's plan, of God's plan for man and the world. It is a message that is both simple and grandiose, which prompts us to ask ourselves: what concrete project has the Lord placed in me, still actualizing his birth among us?
It is the apostle Paul who suggests the answer: "[God] has chosen us [...] to be holy and immaculate before him in charity" (v. 4). Here is the meaning of Christmas. If the Lord continues to come among us, if he continues to give us the gift of his Word, it is because each of us can respond to this call: to become saints in love. Holiness is belonging to God, it is communion with him, transparency of his infinite goodness. Holiness is guarding the gift that God has given us. Only this: guarding gratuity. This is being a saint. Therefore, whoever accepts holiness as a gift of grace cannot fail to translate it into concrete action in everyday life. This gift, this grace that God has given me, I translate it into concrete actions in everyday life, in meeting with others. This charity, this mercy towards our neighbor, a reflection of God's love, at the same time purifies our heart and disposes us to forgiveness, making us "immaculate" day after day. But immaculate not in the sense that I remove a stain: immaculate in the sense that God enters us, the gift, the gratuitousness of God enters us and we guard it and give it to others.
May the Virgin Mary help us to welcome with joy and gratitude the divine plan of love made in Jesus Christ.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
in many parts of the world there is a terrible air of tension. War brings only death and destruction. I call on all parties to keep the flame of dialogue and self-control burning and to ward off the shadow of enmity. Let us pray in silence for the Lord to give us this grace.
I extend a cordial greeting to you, pilgrims who have come from Italy and other countries. I greet the families, associations, parish groups, in particular the children of Confirmation of Mozzo and Almè - you have a nice sign! -, diocese of Bergamo, and the group of the "Fraterna Domus".
On this first Sunday of the year, I renew my best wishes for serenity and peace in the Lord. In happy and difficult moments, let us entrust ourselves to him, who is our hope! I also remember the commitment we made on New Year's Day, Peace Day: "Peace as a path of hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion". With the grace of God, we can put it into practice.
I wish you a good Sunday. And please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you tomorrow for the solemnity of the Epiphany.
Full Text Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation