Pope Francis urged the world’s Catholics to “love littleness,” while stressing the importance of humility on Friday during the traditional Christmas Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Belga news agency reported.
The ceremony, celebrated in different languages, was attended by about 2,000 persons, all masked and socially distanced. They included over 200 priests, bishops and cardinals, along with ambassadors and representatives of other Christian denominations, according to the Vatican’s press office.
Outside the cathedral, dozens of people who had been unable to obtain entry tickets followed the ceremony on big screens on Saint Peter’s Square.
In his homily, the 85-year-old Argentinian pontiff made a strong call for humility, urging the faithful to “love littleness” and “rediscover the little things in life.”
At his birth, Jesus was “surrounded precisely by those little ones, by the poor,” the indefatigable defender of the world's most vulnerable people stressed. He was born “close to the forgotten ones of the peripheries. He comes where human dignity is put to the test.”
"Let us stop pining for a grandeur that is not ours to have. Let us put aside our complaints and our gloomy faces and the greed that never satisfies!” he added. God “goes in search of shepherds, the unseen in our midst, and we look for visibility, to be seen,” he stressed. “God does not seek power and might, He asks for tender love and interior littleness.”
Calling on the Church to be “poor and fraternal,” Jorge Mario Bergoglio warned once again against “indifference” to poverty.
He also stressed the dignity of labour. God "reminds us of the importance of granting dignity to human labour itself since man is its master and not its slave," he stressed. "Let us repeat: no more deaths in the workplace. And let us commit ourselves to ensuring this.”
This is the second consecutive Christmas Mass celebrated at the Vatican since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, only 200 persons, mostly employees of the Vatican, had been able to attend, due to Covid-related restrictions.
On Thursday, the Pope had already asked the Roman Curia to show “humility” and “sobriety” and eschew “mundanity” and “pride” during his traditional Christmas wish.