Dec. 25 (UPI) — Pope Francis condemned materialism and the gap between the rich and the poor of the world in his Christmas Eve homily Monday.
While leading the traditional Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the Pope noted that Jesus Christ‘s birthplace in Bethlehem — which means “house of bread” in Hebrew — signified that he sought for his followers to live their lives “not by devouring and hoarding, but by sharing and giving.”
“Standing before the manger, we understand that the food of life is not material riches but love, not gluttony but charity, not ostentation but simplicity,” he said.
Pope Francis went on to say that following the original sin in the Garden of Eden “mankind became greedy and voracious.”
“For many people, life’s meaning is found in possessing, in having an excess of material objects. 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,” he said.
He also encouraged people in developed countries to take inventory of their possessions and decide if they’re necessary.
“Let us ask ourselves: Do I really need all these material objects and complicated recipes for living? Can I manage without all these unnecessary extras and live a life of greater simplicity?” Francis said.
Francis called for people to love their “brothers and sisters” and use the love of God to overcome the fear of sin.
“Today too, the road is uphill: the heights of our selfishness need to be surmounted, and we must not lose our footing or slide into worldliness and consumerism,” he said.