Christmas will not be authentic if people get caught up in a frenzy of shopping, presents and meals, all while ignoring the poor and forgetting who the celebration is really all about, Pope Francis said.
“If Christmas ends up as just a beautiful traditional holiday,” where everything revolves around “us and not him, it will be a lost opportunity,” the pope said Dec. 19 during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI audience hall.
“Please, let us not make Christmas worldly! Let us not put aside the one being celebrated” — which is what happened at Jesus’ birth when so many of “his own people did not accept him,” he said….
It is a time to let oneself be “shaken by his surprising novelty” because Jesus offers not the “reassuring coziness from a fireplace, but the divine shiver which shakes history.”
Christmas “turns the tables” because the victors are humility over arrogance, simplicity over abundance, silence over noise, prayer over “me time” and God over one’s ego, he said.
People should likewise choose God’s silent voice over the “uproar of consumerism,” he said, inviting people to take time out to sit in silence before a Nativity scene and let themselves feel awe and be surprised by God.