Advent is a time to prioritize God, overcome indifference, Pope says: On Sunday Pope Francis kicked off the Church's Advent season saying it is a time to let go of the worldly distractions that take us away from God, and focus on growing closer to him through prayer and concern for others.
Referring to the day's readings, which stress the importance of being vigilant, the Pope said “the watchful person is one who, in the noise of the world, does not let themselves be overwhelmed by distraction or superficiality, but lives in a full and conscious way, with a concern above all for others.”
With this attitude, we quickly become aware “of the tears and necessity of our neighbor and we can also welcome the human and spiritual qualities and capacities,” he said, adding that an attentive person, “also turns to the world, trying to counteract indifference and the cruelty of it, rejoicing in the treasures of beauty that also exist and must be preserved.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square for his Angelus address, which took place on the first Sunday of Advent.
He focused his address on the day's Gospel reading from Mark, in which Jesus tells his disciples to “Be watchful! Be alert!,” because “you do not know when the time will come.”
Advent, he said, is a time given to us “to welcome the Lord who comes to meet us, to verify our desire for God, to look ahead and prepare ourselves for the return of Christ.”