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Christmas joy is for everyone, according to St. Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great
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The holy pontiff reflects on how everyone should rejoice on Christmas Day.

Christmas is meant to be a joyous occasion, one that everyone should experience. It is not a joy tied to presents or even time spent with family members, but a joy firmly rooted in the coming of our savior on Christmas Day.

This means that no one is excluded from true Christmas joy. Whether you are rich or poor, with family or alone, everyone can rejoice on Christmas.

Here is how Pope St. Leo the Great put it in one of his Christmas sermons from the 5th century.

Our Saviour, dearly-beloved, was born today: let us be glad. For there is no proper place for sadness, when we keep the birthday of the Life, which destroys the fear of mortality and brings to us the joy of promised eternity. No one is kept from sharing in this happiness. There is for all one common measure of joy, because as our Lord the destroyer of sin and death finds none free from charge, so is He come to free us all.

Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad in that he is invited to pardon. Let the Gentile take courage in that he is called to life. For the Son of God in the fullness of time which the inscrutable depth of the Divine counsel has determined, has taken on him the nature of man, thereby to reconcile it to its Author: in order that the inventor of death, the devil, might be conquered through that (nature) which he had conquered. 

Let us then, dearly beloved, give thanks to God the Father, through His Son, in the Holy Spirit, Who for His great mercy, wherewith He has loved us, has had pity on us: and when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together in Christ, that we might be in Him a new creation and a new production. Let us put off then the old man with his deeds: and having obtained a share in the birth of Christ let us renounce the works of the flesh…Remember the Head and the Body of which you are a member. Recollect that you were rescued from the power of darkness and brought out into God’s light and kingdom.

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