Broc’s Blog

Pope FrancisIn Bethlehem, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.  He was born, not by the will of man, but by the gift of the love of God our Father, who “so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

This event is renewed today in the Church, a pilgrim in time.  For the faith of the Christian people relives in the Christmas liturgy the mystery of the God who comes, who assumes our mortal human flesh, and who becomes lowly and poor in order to save us.  And this moves us deeply, for great is the tenderness of our Father.

The first people to see the humble glory of the Saviour, after Mary and Joseph, were the shepherds of Bethlehem.  They recognized the sign proclaimed to them by the angels and adored the Child.  Those humble and watchful men are an example for believers of every age who, before the mystery of Jesus, are not scandalized by his poverty.  Rather, like Mary, they trust in God’s word and contemplate his glory with simple eyes.  Before the mystery of the Word made flesh, Christians in every place confess with the words of the Evangelist John: “We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).

Pope Francis three Christmas ingredientsPope Francis said three simple attitudes can help prepare us to welcome Jesus Christ.

“Saint Paul invites us to prepare for the coming of the Lord by assuming three attitudes: constant joy, persevering prayer and continual thanksgiving,” the Pope said. “Joy, prayer and gratitude are three attitudes that prepare us to live Christmas in an authentic way.”

Pope Francis’ remarks to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square came ahead of the Angelus for Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, which this year coincided with Pope Francis’ 81st birthday.

World Day of the Poor 576x731Pope Francis has named the thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary time the World Day of the Poor. The inaugural World Day of the Poor will be celebrated November 19, 2017. What should parishes do to mark the World Day of the Poor? Pope Francis shares several ideas in his message about the day, including that parishes should spend the week leading up to the day creating moments of “encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance” with people who are poor:

"It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on 19 November, the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance. They can invite the poor and volunteers to take part together in the Eucharist on this Sunday ... This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favorable moment to encounter the God we seek.”  — Pope Francis