Every year at Advent and Christmas, the Holy Father gives special messages for the season.
Here is 2013's Angelus address:
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
Today, the first Sunday of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year, that is, a new journey of the People of God with Jesus, our Shepherd, who guides us through history toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. Thus, this day has a special appeal. Through it we experience a profound sense of the meaning of history. We rediscover the beauty of all being on a journey: the Church, with her vocation and mission, and the whole of humanity, nations, civilizations, cultures, all on a journey along the paths of time.
But where is this journey headed? Is there a common goal? And what is this goal? The Lord answers us through the prophet Isaiah and says: “At the end of days the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: ‘Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths’” (Isaiah 2:2-3). This is what Isaiah says about where we are going. It is a universal pilgrimage toward a common goal, which in the Old Testament is Jerusalem, where the Lord’s temple stands, because from there, from Jerusalem, comes the revelation of the face of God and his law. Revelation found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and he himself is the “Lord’s temple,” the Word made flesh: he is both the leader and the goal of our pilgrimage, of the pilgrimage of the whole People of God; and in its light other peoples too can journey toward the Kingdom of justice, toward the Kingdom of peace. The prophet says further: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again” (2:4). Let me repeat what the prophet says. Listen well: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” But when will this happen? What a beautiful day it will be when weapons are destroyed to be transformed into tools for work! What a beautiful day that will be! And this is possible! Let us bet on hope, on the hope of peace, and it will be possible!
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Pope Emeritus Benedict's Advent reflections (2012, CNS video)
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