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The Catholic New World
Christmas is reminder of greatest gift ever given

By Cindy Wooden

Vatican City — Making, buying and giving gifts at Christmas should be a reminder of Christ, the greatest gift ever given to humanity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Meeting Dec. 14 with Rome university students after they attended an evening Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope said it is right to consider Christmas “the feast of gifts.”

“Christmas gifts remind us of the gift par excellence, that which the son of God made of himself in the Incarnation,” the pope told the students from state and private universities in Rome.

Exchanging gifts at Christmas time has real meaning only if it is a symbol of “the principal gift” remembered as people celebrate the birth of Jesus, he said.

Pope Benedict urged the Italian young people not only to “fix your gaze on the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger,” but also to contemplate and adore him in the Eucharist.

“Under the appearance of a small piece of bread,” the pope told the students, “it is Jesus who gives himself and who wants to enter into our hearts.

“In the manger at Bethlehem, we adore the same Lord who, in the eucharistic sacrament, wanted to be our spiritual food in order to transform the world from the inside, beginning from the human heart,” Pope Benedict said.


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