It has been a tradition since the days of Paul VI. Every third Sunday of Advent, children bring the figurines of baby Jesus to St. Peter’s Square for the pope’s blessing. This year, this endearing event was not missed.
This year few of you are here due to the pandemic. Still, I know that many children and young people have gathered in the youth centers and their homes and are following us via means of communication. I offer my greeting to everyone, and I bless the figurines of Jesus, which will be placed in the Nativity scene, a sign of hope and joy. In silence, let us bless the Baby Jesus figurines: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Pope Francis said that the arrival of Jesus is joyful news. Therefore, Christians should not be sad.
“Think well today: how do I behave? Am I a joyful person who knows how to transmit the joy of being Christian, or am I always like those sad people, as I said before, who seem to be at a funeral? If I do not have the joy of my faith, I cannot bear witness, and others will say: “But if faith is so sad, it is better not to have it.”
The pope gave the recipe for that joy: not to think of oneself and to imitate saints like John the Baptist.
This is joy: directing toward Jesus. Joy must be the characteristic of our faith. In dark moments, that inner joy, of knowing that the Lord is with me, that the Lord is with us, that the Lord is Risen. The Lord! The Lord! The Lord! This is the center of our life.
The pope recommended following the saints’ example, who did not seek personal fame but to lead people to Christ.