By Catholic Review Staff
As we patiently wait to celebrate Christ’s birth Dec. 25, we may reflect on his presence in our lives. Below are some of the words of wisdom Pope Francis has shared leading up to the holiday about the joy of Christmas and the role of Jesus in our faith.
1. We might wonder: but when will I meet Jesus? Only at the end? No! … All our lives are an encounter with Jesus.
– Dec. 2 on Twitter
2. “Christmas is something more. Christmas is an encounter with the Lord. And as we make our way towards Him, we must go with open heart and faith, even though this is not always easy.”
–Morning homily Dec. 2
3. “You can’t imagine a Church without joy; and the joy of the Church lies precisely in this: to proclaim the name of Jesus.”
-Morning homily Dec. 3
4. We are all called to be friends with Jesus. Don’t be afraid to love the Lord.
-Dec. 3 on Twitter
5. “Usually, Christmas seems like a very noisy feast but we can use a bit of silence to hear these words of love, closeness and tenderness.”
-Morning homily Dec. 12
6. Our life must be centered on what is essential, on Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary.
-Nov. 9 on Twitter
7. Being a Christian means renouncing ourselves, taking up the cross and carrying it with Jesus. There is no other way.
-Oct. 24 on Twitter
8. “The love of Jesus is stronger than any other thing. The love of Jesus is great. The love of Jesus is merciful. The love of Jesus forgives. But you must open yourself to it. And that means repenting, expressing regret for the things we have done that weren’t good.”
-Dec. 11 general audience
9. “The Gospel story of Jesus’ birth tells how the shepherds tending their flocks nearby were surrounded by a great light. Today, too, Jesus continues to dispel the darkness of error and sin and brings humanity the joy of blazing divine light.”
-Welcoming the Christmas tree lighting at the Vatican Dec. 13
10. “Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace” and “speaks of tenderness and hope.”
-In an interview published Dec. 14
11. Christian joy is found in Jesus Christ’s faithful and boundless love, that is why “when a Christian becomes sad, it means he has strayed from Jesus.”
-Before praying the Angelus Dec. 15, Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday
12. “The birth of Jesus is the evidence that God has taken man’s side once and for all, to save us, to raise us up from the dust of our miseries, our difficulties, our sins.”
-Dec. 18 general audience