The season of Advent is a time for people to be surprised by God’s mercy and compassion, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.
“Advent, then, is a time for overturning our perspectives … for letting ourselves be surprised by the greatness of God’s mercy,” the Pope said.
Advent is, he continued, “a time in which, preparing the nativity display for the Infant Jesus, we learn again who our Lord is, who he is; [it is] a time to leave behind certain mindsets and prejudices about God and our brothers and sisters; a time in which, instead of thinking about gifts for ourselves, we can give words and gestures of consolation to those who are wounded, as Jesus did with the blind, the deaf and the lame”.
Pope Francis delivered his message for the Third Sunday of Advent from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square.
The Sunday, which marks roughly halfway through the season preceding Christmas, is also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for “rejoice”.
After giving his short reflection and praying the Angelus, the Popes blessed figurines of the Child Jesus which people had brought to the Vatican from their nativity scenes at home.
The Pope blesses the “bambinelli” – as they are called in Italian – every year on Gaudete Sunday.
“And now I bless the ‘bambinelli,’ that is, the little statues of Baby Jesus that you dear children and young people have brought here and will then carry home and put in the nativity,” Francis said.
“I invite you,” he continued, “to pray before the nativity scene that the birth of Jesus will bring a ray of peace to the children of the whole world, especially those forced to live the terrible and dark days of war, this war in Ukraine that destroys many lives, many lives of many children.”
Pope Francis: Be surprised by God’s mercy this Advent (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)
Pope: Advent offers us a time to know the Lord in new ways (Vatican News)