Baby Jesus teaches people to let go of ego, be humble, kind, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Christmas season is a time to learn
from baby Jesus to let go of selfishness and be humble and giving as he is, Pope
Francis said.

In fact, people should take the little figurine of Jesus
from their Nativity scene and kiss it, “and tell Jesus, ‘I want to humble
like you, humble like God,'” the pope said Dec. 30 during his weekly
general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The pope dedicated his catechesis to the importance of
contemplating baby Jesus. The Christmas season offers a timely occasion for
this reflection, since many people customarily set up a Nativity scene at home,
he said.

Pope Francis said the figure of the holy infant in his simple crib invites
people to adore the child Jesus and to contemplate the mystery of the
incarnation as a revelation of God’s saving love.

“In order to grow in the faith, we need to reflect
more often on baby Jesus,” who came into the world in such a humble way
“for us,” he said.

“This is a great mystery: God is humble. We, who are
proud, full of vanity, who think we’re a big deal, yet we’re nothing. He is
great, he is humble and he became a child. This is a true mystery. God is
humble. This is beautiful,” the pope said.

While the New
Testament offers few accounts of Jesus’ infancy and early childhood, the pope
said people can still learn a lot by looking at the children in the world.

“We discover, most of all, that children want our
attention. They have to be at the center of attention — because they’re proud?
No. Because they need to feel protected,” he said.

“We, too, have to put Jesus at the center of our
lives and realize, even if it seems paradoxical, that we have a responsibility
to protect him.

“He wants to be in our arms, he wants to be looked
after and be able to fix his gaze onto ours,” he said.

Just as being affectionate to a child can make him or her
smile, people can “make baby Jesus smile by demonstrating our love and our
joy because he is among us.”

“His smile is a sign of that love that gives us
assurances of being loved,” the pope said.

Children also show that when it’s playtime, adults have
to let go of their own mindset and enter into the world of that child, the pope
said. “We have to understand what he likes and not be self-centered and make him
do what we like. It’s a lesson for us.”

“Before Jesus, we are called to let go of our
pretension of autonomy — and this is the heart of the problem, you know, our
pretense of autonomy — in order to embrace instead the true form of freedom,
which consists of recognizing whom we have before us and serving him,” he

“He, the child, is the son of God who comes to save
us. He came among us to show us the face of the father so full of love and
mercy. So hold the baby Jesus tight in our arms and let us put ourselves at
his service. He is the source of love and serenity.”

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Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.

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