Pope urges flock to ‘not be afraid’ during Christmas Eve Mass

Posted on: 3:38 pm, December 24, 2013, by and , updated on: 03:39pm, December 24, 2013

Pope Francis I microphone

 (CNN) — Pope Francis rang in his first Christmas at the Vatican with a Christmas Eve Mass on Tuesday, preaching a message of love and forgiveness.

“On this night, let us share the joy of the Gospel. God loves us. He so loves us that he gave us his son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats, ‘Do not be afraid,’ … And I, too, repeat, do not be afraid,’” the Pope said.

“Our Father is patient. He loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightened the darkness. Our Father forgives always. He is our peace and light.”

He called on the throngs gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica to love their brothers.

“God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. Yet on the part of the people, there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience and rebellion, times of being a pilgrim people, and times of being a people adrift,” the Pope said. “In our personal history, too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light. But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us, and around us.”

The-CNN-Wire