“We are close to our brothers and sisters who are suffering from war,” Pope Francis said during his recitation of the Angelus on Sunday.
“We are thinking of Palestine, Israel, Ukraine. We are thinking, too, of all those who suffer from misery, from hunger, from slavery.”
On Christmas Eve – which this year falls on the Fourth Sunday of Advent – the Holy Father invited Christians to spend the day “in prayer, in the warmth of affection, and with sobriety.”
“Let us not confuse celebration with consumerism!” he pleaded. He urged the faithful to celebrate Christmas with simplicity, without waste, “and by sharing with those who lack necessities or companionship.”
Looking ahead to the celebration of the birth of Jesus, Pope Francis prayed that “the God who took a human heart for Himself might infuse humanity into human hearts.”
And, as usual, he asked the faithful not to forget to pray for him, before wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.