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Papal nuncio: Christmas is a call for humility

Papal nuncio: Christmas is a call for humility

Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, celebrates Christmas Eve Mass at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in Manila, Dec. 24, 2020. PHOTO BY ROY LAGARDE

By CBCP News

December 25, 2020

Manila, Philippines

In his first Christmas in the Philippines, the Holy See’s apostolic nuncio called on Christians to strive toward living a life of greater simplicity.

During his homily on Christmas Eve, Archbishop Charles John Brown said that Jesus’ birth in a stable teaches something: “God chooses the simple people”.

“And I think all of us need to ask for the gift of simple faith, the gift of faith of the poor,” Brown said at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in Manila.

But the fact that God chooses the simple and humble over the outstanding, he said, is not arbitrary or not without reason.

According to him, God prefers the poor because they rely on God “and their faith is more immediate, more real”.

“When we become rich and sophisticated, in a certain sense, we don’t have that immediate dependency on God for everything,” Brown said.

“And it’s easier for us to think that we are self sufficient, that we are in control, that we don’t need God. And that is the tragedy of richness and sophistication,” he said.

The nuncio also emphasized that God’s kingdom is for the poor in spirit, not those who place their trust in the comforts of this world.

“We need to be poor in spirit even if we have a bank [account] with money in it. We need to imitate the poor in their immediate faith in Jesus, in their simple faith in Jesus,” he added.

Around 100 people were present inside the church for the Mass, including some staff of the apostolic nunciature.

Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, presides over Mass on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord at the Manila Cathedral on Dec. 25, 2020. PHOTO BY ROY LAGARDE

On Christmas Day, the pope’s envoy celebrated his first Mass at the Manila Cathedral since he arrived in the country on Nov. 29.

At the start of the celebration, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the apostolic administrator of the Manila archdiocese, thanked the nuncio for gracing the Mass with his presence.

“It is a great honor for us that you are here to celebrate this Mass for us and with us,” Pabillo said.

In his homily, Brown reminded the faithful to live their faith and share it with others.

“Here on earth, our job is to live in a way that nourishes God’s lights in us and in others by being compassionate, by following the teachings of Jesus and His Church,” he said.

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