The Philippines new apostolic nuncio called on Christians to strive toward living a life of greater simplicity during his homily on Christmas Eve.
Archbishop Charles John Brown said Jesus’ birth in a stable teaches that “God chooses the simple people.”
“I think all of us need to ask for the gift of simple faith, the gift of faith of the poor,” said the prelate at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in Manila.
He said the fact that God chooses the simple and humble over the outstanding is not arbitrary or not without reason.
God prefers the poor because they rely on God “and their faith is more immediate, more real,” he said.
“When we become rich and sophisticated, in a certain sense, we don’t have that immediate dependency on God for everything,” said Archbishop Brown.
“It’s easier for us to think that we are self sufficient, that we are in control, that we don’t need God. And that is the tragedy of richness and sophistication,” he said.
The papal nuncio also emphasized that God’s kingdom is for the poor in spirit, not those who place their trust in the comforts of this world.
“We need to be poor in spirit even if we have a bank [account] with money in it. We need to imitate the poor in their immediate faith in Jesus, in their simple faith in Jesus,” he added.
About a hundred people attended the Mass, including some staff members of the apostolic nunciature.
On Christmas Day, the pope’s envoy celebrated his first Mass at the Manila Cathedral since he arrived in the country on Nov. 29.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, thanked the papal nuncio for gracing the occasion with his presence.
“It is a great honor for us that you are here to celebrate this Mass for us and with us,” said Bishop Pabillo.
In his homily, Archbishop Brown reminded the faithful to live their faith and share it with others.
“Here on earth, our job is to live in a way that nourishes God’s lights in us and in others by being compassionate, by following the teachings of Jesus and His Church,” he said.