Pope Francis called today to reflect "with pain and repentance" because in the year that ends many people have lived in situations of precariousness and "slavery", while calling his Church to be "inside" the reality of the poor.
The Argentine pontiff made this reflection during the Mass he celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica for the first eves of the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God, in which the hymn of "Te Deum" of thanksgiving for the year was intoned elapsed.
It is a ritual in which the pope takes stock of the year and, on this occasion, Francis indicated that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth served to "eradicate from the heart of man the ancient slavery of sin and thus restore his dignity."
And, as he pointed out, alluding to the Gospel of Mark, "from the human heart come all the perverse intentions, the evils that corrupt life and relationships".
A fact that also marked 2018, according to the pope lamented, who asked to meditate on the conditions in which many people live day by day, suffering the ignominy and the modern forms of slavery to which so many times he has alluded to in his teaching.
"We must stop, stop to reflect with pain and regret because also in this year that comes to an end, many men and women have lived and live in conditions of slavery, unworthy of human persons," denounced Francisco.
As bishop of Rome, he affirmed that also in the Eternal City, for various reasons, many people suffer from this situation, especially the more than ten thousand homes that inhabit it, and denounced that their suffering becomes "particularly hard" during the cold winter .
They are people who drag many problems, who have ended up living on the street, "at the limit of human dignity", by "various forms of slavery, often very complex," he said.
"Jesus was also born in an analogous condition, but not by chance or by accident: he wanted to be born in that way to manifest the love of God for the little ones and the poor, and thus launch the seed of the Kingdom of God in the world. justice, love and peace, where no one is a slave, but all brothers, children of the one Father, "he said.
For that reason, Francisco said that the Roman Church "does not want to be indifferent to the slaves of our time, nor simply observe and help them, but wants to be within that reality, close to those people and those situations."
It is, in his opinion, "in a form of motherhood" on the part of the Catholic Church, since God "was born of a woman", of Mary.
The ceremony began in the middle of the afternoon, when the Pope walked down the central aisle of the imposing Vatican basilica supported by a staff and kissed the figure of the Child Jesus placed at the foot of the papal altar, while the "Adeste Fideles" was being sung.
After his homily, the pontiff pronounced the final prayer and exhibited the Blessed Sacrament guarded in a golden tabernacle, and later the assembly, with faithful, bishops and cardinals, sang the hymn of gratitude of the "Te Deum".
Before leaving the basilica on foot, Jorge Bergoglio greeted the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, who attended to his words from the front row.
As is tradition, at the end of the Mass the Pope went to the Plaza de San Pedro to appreciate the Christmas tree, 21 meters high, and its monumental Portal de Belén, which this year has been made with 1,300 cubic meters of beach sand thanks to the work of four sculptors for weeks.
Many loyal and curious people awaited him there, whom he greeted.
Previously, he personally visited the new medical clinic he has donated, located under Bernini's colonnade, and to which people who live in the street or go through times of need can go.
Pope Francis' agenda for Christmas will continue tomorrow, Tuesday, when he will preside over his first mass in 2019, the same day on which the Catholic Church celebrates the World Day of Peace, which this year deals with "good politics at the service of peace." "
By Gonzalo Sánchez