Vatican Christmas Tree: Shining God's light in the world

2012-12-14 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) “Christmas trees are a sign of God's light which continues to shine despite attempts to put it out it”, said Pope Benedict XVI Friday, receiving a delegation from the Italian Molise Region which donated this years’ Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square.

At sundown, in a festive ceremony of Christmas carols and readings from Gospel passages narrating the birth of Christ, to the joy of many young children gathered beneath its bows, the Christmas lights were officially switched on by a small boy named Mario, illuminating the evening sky. Emer McCarthy reports Listen:

In his address earlier Friday morning, the Pope thanked the delegation for the silver fir - which was accompanied by eight other smaller trees destined for the Apostolic Palace and various other locations around the Vatican .

“When you try to erase the name of God from the pages of history”, he continued “the result is that you draw crooked lines, where even the most beautiful and noble words lose their true meaning. Think of words like "freedom", "common good", "justice" deprived of rootedness in God and in his love, in the God who has shown us his face in Jesus Christ, these realities are often at the mercy of human interests, losing their bond with the demands of truth and civic responsibility”.

"God became man and came among us to dispel the shadows of sin, bringing His divine light to humanity. This highest of lights, symbolised and recalled by the Christmas tree, has not only shown no sign of dimming through the passing of the centuries and the millennia, but rather continues to shine upon us and to illuminate every person who comes into the world, especially in moments of uncertainty and difficulty. Jesus Himself declared, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life".