Pope Francis at St. Peter’s: Warns Against Christmas as ‘Holiday with Ourselves at Center, Rather than Jesus’

Pope Francis prays during a mass on Christmas eve marking the birth of Jesus Christ on December 24, 2016 at St Peter's basilica in the  Vatican. / AFP / ANDREAS SOLARO        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Full transcript below of Pope Frances’s Christmas Eve homily, delivered at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Transcript by Rome Reports and the CTV broadcast of the mass. “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all” (Tit 2:11). The words of the Apostle Paul reveal the mystery of this holy night: the grace of God has appeared, his free gift. In the Child given to us, the love of God is made visible. It is a night of glory, that glory proclaimed by the angels in Bethlehem and also by us today, throughout the world. It is a night of joy, because this date forth and for all times, the infinite and eternal God is God with us. He is never far off. We need not search for him in the heavens or in mystical notions. He is close. He became man and he will never distance himself from our humanity, which he has made his own. It is a night of light. The light prophesied by Isaiah (cf. 9:1), which was to shine on those who walked in a land of darkness, has appeared and enveloped the shepherds of Bethlehem (cf. Lk 2:9). The shepherds discover simply that “a child has been born