17-December-2013 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Holiness Means 'Letting God Write Our History,' Preaches Pope

(http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=28654)

VATICAN CITY, December 17 (CNA) .- Pope Francis' daily homily focused on the importance of allowing God to be active and present in our daily lives.

"This is holiness: to let God write our history. And this is a Christmas wish for every one of us, that the Lord writes your history and that you let him write it. May it be so!" he preached on Dec. 17 in the chapel of the Saint Martha guesthouse.

God's joy "was to live his life with us," explained Pope Francis. Even after mankind sinned, God did not abandon us but rather came closer, wishing to "make history" with us.

"When God wishes to say who he is, he says 'I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob.' But what is God's last name? It is ours, each one of ours. He takes our name to be his own last name," reflected Pope Francis.

"Approaching Christmas, one may come to think: if He has made his history with us, if He has taken his last name from us, if he has allowed us to write his history, at least we can allow Him to write our history."

Pope Francis then acknowledged that the genealogy of Jesus found in today's gospel may seem unexciting at first glance, but actually contains a very important truth.

"One time I heard someone say: 'But this bit of the gospel seems like a telephone directory!' But no, it's quite another thing. This passage of the gospel is pure history."

Just as Jesus "is consubstantial" with God the Father, he takes the origin of his humanity from "his mother, a woman," explained the Pope. The ancestry provided in the gospel then demonstrates Jesus' human place in history.

"God did not want to come to save us without history. He wanted to make history with us."

This history is not a perfect one: in the list of Jesus' ancestors, Pope Francis said, "there are saints... but in this list there are also sinners."

Despite the sinfulness of human beings, "God has put himself in history! He is with us. He has made the journey with us," encouraged the Pontiff.

Today is Pope Francis' 77th birthday, which he requested be celebrated by the residents and staff of the Saint Martha guesthouse attending morning mass together.

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