In the last days leading to Christmas, Pope Francis dedicated his catechesis during the Wednesday General Audience to how we prepare for the coming of the Lord.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In these last days of Advent, we do well to ask ourselves: How am I preparing for the birth of Jesus? One way to prepare for Christmas is to set up a nativity scene in our homes, churches and public spaces, a lovely tradition that began with Saint Francis of Assisi. The Christmas crèche is a kind of living Gospel, a touching reminder that the Lord showed his love for us by being born as one of us, in order to share in our daily lives, hopes and concerns. The name Bethlehem, which means “house of bread”, and the image of the manger, evoke the meals which we share as families, and the centrality of Jesus, the living bread come down from heaven, in our family life. In this world of frenetic activity, the Christmas crèche also encourages us to pause and contemplate what is truly important in life. Everything in the nativity scene speaks of the harmony and peace that only Christ the Saviour can bring to our lives and to our world. As we gaze upon the lowly scene of Jesus’ birth, let us invite him into our hearts, so that each new day can bring spiritual rebirth and preserve in us the joy of Christmas.
The Southern Cross website – remember to get your copy after Mass!