Preparing for Christmas one papal homily at a time

| Cindy Wooden | December 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

‘Pope Francis: A Guide to God’s Time’
This article includes material excerpted from the book.
By Cindy Wooden, photographs by Paul Haring; published by CNS, USC CB Publishing and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014; paperback.

As Advent got under way, Pope Francis included in his morning Mass homilies specific graces Catholics should pray for as they prepare for Christmas.

In the chapel of his residence Dec. 2, Pope Francis ended his homily by telling the small congregation, “Let us ask the Lord during this Advent time to draw us closer, closer to his mystery and do so on the path that he wants us to take: the path of humility, the path of meekness, the path of poverty, the path of recognizing we are sinners.”

Preaching two days later, he said, “Let us ask the Lord to help us be based firmly on the rock that he is; our hope is in him. We are all sinners, we are weak. But if we put our hope in him, we can move forward.”

With highlights from his morning Mass homilies available online and on Vatican Radio, millions of people use Pope Francis’ homilies as a guide through the Church’s liturgical year.

The first Sunday of Advent marked the beginning of a new year of Mass readings, a full calendar of seasons and feast days.

While every celebration of Mass is a commemoration of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Church’s liturgical calendar is designed to help Catholics focus on specific events as they progress through the year and through time.

But, as Pope Francis explained in February, “The liturgy is God’s time and space, and we must put ourselves there in God’s time, in God’s space, without looking at our watches. The liturgy is precisely entering into the mystery of God; bringing ourselves to the mystery and being present in the mystery.”

Pope Francis wants people to realize how strongly the Scripture readings for Advent Masses emphasize God’s love, tenderness and forgiveness.

“The Lord, the great God, is not afraid of tenderness. He is tenderness, he is born a baby, he makes himself small,” the pope insisted during a Mass one Advent day last year.

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Category: Advent