Some people present at the last General Audience did not forget that Monday was Pope Francis’ birthday. This is the reason why some congratulations could be heard as the pope passed among the people.
This was the last catechesis before Christmas and the pope recommended preparing for this period with a question.
“The advertisements invite you to always give new gifts to surprise. However, I ask myself: is this the celebration that God likes?”
The pope explained that at Christmas God confounded the world: He did not give the parents of Jesus comfort. Moreover, the family was forced to flee to Egypt. This is why Pope Francis invited everyone to contemplate the first Christmas in silence.
“Christmas is preferring the silent voice of God to the turmoil of consumerism.” “This is the invitation for Christmas. Take some time, stand in front of the manger and be silent.”
The pope said that contemplating the first Christmas helps one to discover things. For example, the capacity of Mary and Joseph to accept the continuous change of plans that God put in their way. He recommended imitating this attitude of Mary and Joseph.
“Each one of us has hidden in our hearts the ability to be surprised. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by Jesus this Christmas. Thank you.”
There was no lack of music in the last General Audience before Christmas. On this occasion it was the pilgrims from Austria who dedicated this song to the pope at the end of the audience.