In his weekly Angelus message Sunday, Pope Francis continued his reflections on the meaning of Christmas, reminding his hearers that on coming into the world Jesus was rejected, and that we too must make a choice whether or not to accept him.
Speaking on the day’s Gospel before a crowd in Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope underscored the dramatic contrast between God’s gift of love in the Incarnation, and man’s failure to receive Him.
“The gift of God’s love is matched by the non-acceptance of men,” Francis said. “The Word is the light, but men loved darkness; the Word came among his own, but his own people did not accept him. They closed the door on the Son of God.”
This same mystery of evil “also threatens our lives,” Francis said, and vigilance is necessary so that it does not prevail.
Quoting from the Book of Genesis, Francis said, “if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
“The devil,” Francis added, “is always crouching at our door, in front of our heart, and wants to come in.”
“Woe to us if we let him enter; then he would close our doors to anyone else. Instead, we are called to open the door of our hearts to the Word of God, to Jesus, and so to become his children,” he said.
Accepting Jesus, he said, leads to an increase in knowledge and love and mercy in our lives, making us more like Him.
Especially in this Holy Year of Mercy, Francis said, “let us ensure that the Gospel increasingly takes flesh in our lives.”
“This is the vocation and the joy of every baptized person: to point Jesus out to others and give Him to them; but to do this we must know Him and bear Him within us, as the Lord of our lives,” he said.
“And I remind you of that advice that I have given you so many times: read a passage, a section from the Gospel every day, to know Jesus better, to open your hearts wide to Jesus, and so we can make others know Him better,” he said.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome