Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Due to the pandemic, only about 200 instead of the usual 7,000.200 instead of the usual 7,000 visitors. In addition, the service was moved forward two hours because of the closing time in Italy.
The Christmas Mass was broadcast live worldwide via television and the Internet. In his homily, the pope called people to new self-awareness. Knowing "to be a son of God, a daughter of God" is the "indestructible core of our hope; the glowing core that sustains life.".
This dignity, Francis said, goes deeper than talents and shortcomings, is stronger than wounds and failures, fears and worries. The birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Pope said, is a gift: "Today God marvels at us and says to each one of us, ‘You are a miracle’!"
"God came into the world just as a child comes into the world: weak and fragile, so that we can accept our shortcomings with tenderness," Francis said. He was born a child "because he wants to make us care for others".
The time people have is not for "feeling sorry for oneself, but for consoling the tears of those who suffer". God’s Son was born completely unnoticed "to tell us that every disregarded person is a child of God.".
For the rest, God overestimates mankind, Francis said. Because in view of the actual situation and the behavior of mankind, his love is undeserved: "Yes: He overestimates us, because he loves us to the utmost. He cannot help but love us. That’s just the way he is – so different from us…" The only way of salvation for human beings is mutual love, Francis says.