Pope Benedict”s Christmas message

Pope Benedict XVI dedicated today”s Wednesday audience at the Vatican to conveying a reflection on Christmas. Here is the portion of his address that was given in English:

“In these last days before Christmas, the Church invites us to contemplate the mystery of Christ”s birth and to receive the gift of His presence, which is the fulfillment of humanity”s deepest hopes and expectations. We share in the quiet joy which filled the hearts of Mary and Joseph, and all those who first welcomed the promised Savior, who is Emmanuel, God-with-us. By taking our flesh, the Lord saved us from the sin of our first parents; now He bids us to become like Him, to see the world through His eyes and to let our hearts be transformed by His infinite goodness and mercy. This Christmas, may the Christ Child find all of us spiritually prepared for his coming. The traditional Christmas crib, which families prepare in these days, is an eloquent sign of our expectation of the Lord who comes. May the wonderment that the crib evokes in children and adults alike bring us closer to the mystery of God”s love revealed in the incarnation of His beloved Son. Let us ask the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph to help us contemplate this great mystery with renewed joy and gratitude.”

And these closing words of his address help us to put the last few days before Christmas in perspective:

“In the midst of the frenetic activity of our days, may this time give us some calm and joy and enable us to touch with our hand the goodness of our God, who became a Child to save us and to give new encouragement and light on our journey. This is my wish for a holy and happy Christmas: I address it affectionately to all of you here present, to your families, in particular to the sick and the suffering, as well as to your communities and your loved ones.”

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