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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope: Take a break from busy holidays to prepare for real Christmas

Make time to get ready for what Christmas is really about – the child born in Bethlehem signalling that “God is with us,” Pope Francis said.

“This week let’s make sure we try to find some time to stop, be quiet and imagine Our Lady and St Joseph who are going to Bethlehem,” he said after greeting people gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus on 18th December.

Imagine what the Holy Family experienced on their journey: “the fatigue, but also the joy, the emotions and then the anxiety in looking for a place, the worry and so forth,” he said.

The Christmas creche is very helpful in aiding these reflections, he said, adding “let us try to enter into the real Christmas – that of Jesus, who drew near to us, God with us, near us – in order to receive the grace of this holiday, which is a grace of closeness, love, humility and tenderness.”

Before praying the Angelus with visitors, the pope asked that people welcome God with the same trust, faith, obedience and generosity Mary and Joseph had when they opened their lives to God and changed the course of history.

Picture: Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his apartment overlooking St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 18th December. (CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPA).