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A child is born for us.

Yet what do those words – for us – really mean? They mean that the Son of God, the one who is holy by nature, came to make us, as God’s children, holy by grace.

Yes, God came into the world as a child to make us children of God. What a magnificent gift!

This day, God amazes us and says to each of us: “You are amazing.”

Dear sister, dear brother, never be discouraged. Are you tempted to feel you were a mistake? God tells you, “No, you are my child!” Do you have a feeling of failure or inadequacy, the fear that you will never emerge from the dark tunnel of trial? God says to you, “Have courage, I am with you.” He does this not in words, but by making himself a child with you and for you. In this way, he reminds you that the starting point of all rebirth is the recognition that we are children of God. This is the starting point for any rebirth. This is the undying heart of our hope, the incandescent core that gives warmth and meaning to our life.

Underlying all our strengths and weaknesses, stronger than all our past hurts and failures, or our fears and concerns about the future, there is this great truth: We are beloved sons and daughters.

God’s love for us does not, and never will, depend upon us. It is completely free love.

Tonight cannot be explained in any other way: It is purely grace. Everything is grace. The gift is completely free, unearned by any of us, pure grace.

Tonight, Saint Paul tells us, “The grace of God has appeared.” Nothing is more precious than this.

A Reading from the Christmas Eve Homily (2020) of Pope Francis