December 12
Third Sunday of Advent

Readings: Is. 35:1-6a, 10; Jas. 5:7-10; Mt. 11:2-11 {{more}}

Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with spanine recompense he comes to save you. – Is. 35:4

Christian joy thus springs from this certainty: God is close, He is with me, He is with us, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as a friend and faithful spouse.

Angelus, Dec. 16, 2007

December 13
Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr

Readings: Nm. 24:2-7, 15-17a; Mt. 21:23-27

A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel. – Nm. 24:17a

God became the Son of Man so that we might become children of God.

Angelus, Dec. 23, 2007

December 14
Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church

Readings: Zep. 3:1-2, 9-13; Mt. 21:28-32

When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. – Ps. 34:18-19

At the end of his life, St. John of the Cross loved to repeat that we will be judged on love. What is necessary even today, indeed, especially in this our epoch marked by so many human and spiritual challenges, is for Christians to proclaim with their works the merciful love of God! Every baptized person must “live the Gospel.” In fact, many people who do not welcome Christ and his exigent teachings easily are nevertheless sensitive to the witness of those who communicate His message through the concrete witness of charity.

Address to members of the Italian Voluntary Service Organizations, Feb. 10, 2007

December 15
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Readings: Is. 45:6b-8, 18, 21b-25; Lk. 7:18b-23

Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” – Lk. 7:22

The Word of God is the subject that moves history, inspires the prophets, prepares the way for the Lord and convokes the Church. Jesus Himself is the spanine Word who was made flesh in Mary’s virginal womb: inHim God was fully revealed, He told us, and gave us His all, offering to us the precious gifts of His truth and mercy.

Angelus, Dec. 6, 2009

December 16
Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

Readings: Is. 54:1-10; Lk. 7:24-30

Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you. – Is. 54:10

Have the courage to dare with God! Try it! Do not be afraid of him! Have the courage to risk with faith! Have the courage to risk with goodness! Have the courage to risk with a pure heart! Commit yourselves to God, then you will see that it is precisely by doing so that your life will become broad and light, not boring but filled with infinite surprises, for God’s infinite goodness is never depleted!

Homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dec. 8, 2005

December 17
Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Readings: Gn. 49:2, 8-10; Mt. 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. – Mt. 1:1

Families … are the fundamental cell of every healthy society. Only in families, therefore, is it possible to create a communion of generations in which the memory of the past lives on in the present and is open to the future. Thus, life truly continues and progresses. Real progress is impossible without this continuity of life, and once again, it is impossible without the religious element. Without trust in God, without trust in Christ who in addition gives us the ability to believe and to live, the family cannot survive.

Meeting with members of the Roman clergy, March 2, 2006

December 18
Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

Readings: Jer. 23:5-8; Mt. 1:18-25

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. – Mt. 1:24

The silence of St. Joseph is given a special emphasis. His silence is steeped in contemplation of the mystery of God in an attitude of total availability to the spanine desires. It is a silence thanks to which Joseph, in unison with Mary, watches over the Word of God, known through the Sacred Scriptures, continuously comparing it with the events of the life of Jesus; a silence woven of constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of the adoration of His holy will and of unreserved entrustment to His providence. It is no exaggeration to think that it was precisely from His “father” Joseph that Jesus learned – at the human level – that steadfast interiority which is a presupposition of authentic justice.

Angelus, Dec. 18, 2005