#PopeFrancis “At Christmas, God gives us all of Himself by giving His one and only Son, who is all his joy..." Angelus - Text - Video
Pope Francis at Angelus - ANSA
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with faithful pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, ahead of which he spoke of the spirit of wonder engendered by the Gospel and especially by the Christmas season.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the 4th Sunday of Advent, which recounts Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, miraculously with child in her old age, Pope Francis indicated three loci of wonder in our lives: the other; history; and the Church.
“The other,” he said, “is [the first locus of wonder], in which to discover a brother, for, from the moment in which Jesus was born, every visage carries the features of the Son of God – above all when it is the face of a poor person, because it was as a poor person that God entered the world and it was by the poor that He allowed himself to be approached first.”
“Another locus of wonder in which, if we look with faith, we feel real wonder, is history,” Pope Francis continued. “So many times we think we see it the right way, and instead we risk reading it backwards: it happens, for example, when history seems to us to be determined by the market economy, regulated by finance and business, dominated by the powers that be. The God of Christmas is rather a God who “shuffles the deck” – He likes to do it, eh? – As Mary sings in the Magnificat, it is the Lord who casts down the mighty from their thrones and lifts up the lowly, who fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty (Lk 1.52 to 53). This is the second surprise, the wonder of history.”
“The third locus of wonder is the Church,” said Pope Francis. “To look on her with the wonder of faith means not just considering the Church only as a religious institution – which the Church is – but to feel her as a mother who, despite her warts and wrinkles – we have so many! – lets the contours of the bride beloved of and purified by Christ the Lord shine through.”
“At Christmas,” Pope Francis concluded, “God gives us all of Himself by giving His one and only Son, who is all his joy – and only with the heart of Mary, the humble and poor daughter of Zion, become the Mother of the Son of the Most High, that we can rejoice and be glad for the great gift of God and for His unpredictable surprise: may she help us to perceive the wonder, these three wonders: the other, history and the Church; so let it be with the birth of Jesus – the gift of gifts – the undeserved gift that brings us salvation, that it might also make us feel this wonder in meeting Jesus. We cannot have this wonder, however, we cannot meet Jesus, if we do not meet Him in the other, in history and in the Church.”
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed for the victims of massive flooding in India on Sunday. Speaking to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square after the traditional Angelus prayer, Pope Francis said. “My thoughts turn in this moment to the dear populations of India, recently stricken by a great flood.”
The city of Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state in southeastern India, was overwhelmed earlier this month after a series of record-breaking rainfalls triggered the flooding, in which some three hundred people perished. Much of the city's 4.8 million population remains exposed to the threat of disease outbreak as a result of the flooding. Meteorologists fear unusually intense weather patterns could bring more rain.
“Let us pray for these brothers and sisters, who are suffering as a result of this great calamity, and let us entrust the souls of the dead to the mercy of God,” Pope Francis said.
The Holy Father then led the faithful in reciting the Ave Maria for all those affected.