Vatican: Pope Francis has condemned greed and consumerism, telling Christians during his traditional Christmas Eve Mass that “the food of life is not material riches but love”.
“In our day, for many people, life’s meaning is found in possessing, in having an excess of material objects,” the Pope said during the service in St Peter’s Basilica.
“An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when, paradoxically, a few dine luxuriantly, while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive,” the pontiff said.
The Christmas Eve service is one of the most important ceremonies in Catholic liturgy, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis entered St Peter’s on Monday night (local time), preceded by a procession of cardinals in golden robes.
Before Mass, the Pope lifted a cloth covering a baby Jesus figure, and 10 children from Italy, China, Panama, Congo, Romania and Japan laid flowers by the shrine.
If we think of the manger where Jesus was born, “we understand that the food of life is not material riches but love, not gluttony but charity, not ostentation but simplicity,” the Pope said.
At Christmas, “we must not lose our footing or slide into worldliness and consumerism” and we should ask ourselves: “do I break my bread with those who have none?” he added.