Pope Francis delivered his traditional Christmas homily on Christmas eve, advocating “unconditional” and “free” love, in front of thousands of followers gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
“Christmas reminds us that God continues to love everyone, even the worst,” said the leader of the 1.3 billion Catholics around the world. “His love is unconditional” and “gratis” even if “you could have wrong ideas, and carried out bad acts,” he insisted.
The Pope also asked to not forget to “say thank you”, noting that “it is the best way to change the world”.
“We change, the Church changes, history changes, when we begin to not want to change others, but ourselves,” he said.
“Let us not wait until our neighbour becomes good, to do him good, that the Church is perfect to love him, that others consider us to serve them. Let us start first,” the Pope said.
No text from the New Testament specifies the actual day and time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Its celebration on 25 December in Christian tradition was chosen in the fourth century in the West, which allowed the circumcision of Jesus in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke to fall on 1 January (keeping in Jewish law to circumcise new-born boys after eight days).