At Christmas, Recognize Your Sin and Let God Caress You, Pope says

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Pope Francis waves as he leads his Angelus Dec. 4 from the window of his studio. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – At Christmas, God reveals his full power, which is the power of relentlessly seeking his lost sheep and, when he finds them, giving them a caress, Pope Francis said. “One who does not know the caresses of the Lord does not know Christian doctrine. One who does not let himself be caressed by the Lord is lost,” the pope said Dec. 6 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives. Christmas, he said, is a celebration of the fact that “the Lord comes with his power – which are his caresses – to find us, to save us like lost sheep and bring us back to the flock of his church.” Pope Francis said that when he reads the Gospel story of the lost sheep, he always thinks of Judas, “the most perfect lost sheep in the Gospels.” In the Bible, he said, Judas seems always to have had “bitterness in his heart,” something critical to say about others and a standoffish attitude.