Pope Francis celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass since becoming pontiff with a gesture of humility and a call for universal brotherhood, the New York Post website reports today (December 25, 2013).
Francis walked briskly up the main aisle of a packed St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican and placed a statue of the baby Jesus into a manger scene.
In his homily, the pope reflected on the reason for the season.
"If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light," he said. "But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us."