Let’s not live a fake commercial Christmas
Pope Francis met with delegations from Peru and Italy on Friday who donated the nativity scene and giant Christmas tree in the center of St. Peter’s Square this year. Another Italian group donated the Nativity scene in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican.
Dec 12 2021
Pope Francis greets the members of the Peruvian delegation who donated the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square. (AFP or licensors)
By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Friday urged Christians to steer clear of a fake commercial Christmas polluted by consumerism and indifference. He made the remark to a group of 3 delegations who donated two nativity scenes and a Christmas tree to the Vatican this year.
This year’s Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is a gift from Peru and is from the Chopcca Nation, which includes several communities located in the Huancavelica region in the Andean highlands. The stage, comprising more than 30 life-size figurines in typical Andean costumes, is made of ceramics, maguey wood and fiberglass, and features alpacas, vicuñas and the Andean condor, Peru’s national symbol.
Next to the crib, the majestic 28-meter-high red fir tree and its wooden decorations come from the Andalusian forest in the northern Italian region of Trentino.
Another crib was also installed in the Paul VI audience hall of the Vatican, where the Pope received the delegations. It is a donation from the young people of the parish of San Bartolomeo in Gallio, in the Italian diocese of Padua.
The manger – the universal call to salvation
Addressing the groups, Pope Francis reflected on the meaning of Christmas. The figures in the crib made from materials and clothing characteristic of the region, he said, “represent the peoples of the Andes and symbolize the universal call to salvation.” “Jesus, in fact, came to earth in the concrete of a people to save every man and woman, of all cultures and nationalities. He made himself small so that we could welcome him and receive the gift of God’s tenderness.
Christmas tree – rebirth
On the other hand, the fir is a sign of Christ, the tree of life, a tree that man did not have access to because of sin, said the Pope. With the birth of Christ, divine life joins human life. Thus, the Christmas tree evokes rebirth, the gift of God who unites with man forever, who gives us his life. “The lights of the tree recall that of Jesus, the light of love that continues to shine in the nights of the world.
Consumerism and indifference
The Holy Father invited Christians to remain faithful to the true spirit of Christmas, urging: “Let us not allow it to be polluted by consumerism and indifference. The symbols of the manger and the tree bring back the certainty that fills our hearts with the peace and joy that dwell in us and give us hope. The tree and the crib introduce us to the typical Christmas atmosphere of tenderness, sharing and family intimacy. “Let’s not have a fake commercial Christmas!” “Urged the Pope, adding:” Let us allow ourselves to be enveloped by the compassionate and tender closeness of God, and by the Christmas atmosphere that art, music, songs and traditions bring to our hearts.
God with us
Thanking the Padua group for their Christmas crib, Pope Francis said Christmas is the feast of trust and hope. May God be with us, trust and never tire of forgiving us is the reason for hope. He chooses to make his home with us and to assume the realities in which we spend our days. He is not the one who is raised to dominate, but who humbles himself to become small and poor to serve. Therefore, to be like Him, you have to stoop in service.
At Christmas, God comes to be with us and asks us to take care of our brothers and sisters, especially the poorest, weakest and most fragile, whom the pandemic marginalizes even more, added the Pope.
The official opening ceremony for the nativity scene and the “lighting” of the Christmas tree took place on Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. local time.– Vatican News