Christmas tree wishes are a custom in many parts of the world, from Naples to Yokahama and in some places those wishes are made on December 22, the traditional day for lighting the Christmas tree.
Last week Pope Benedict XVI used a digital tablet to light the world’s largest Christmas tree formed on the slopes of Mount Ingino in the Italian town of Gubbio, in Northeastern Perugia. Before lighting the tree the Pope expressed three wishes.
The Holy Father’s first wish is that our gaze, that of our minds and our hearts, not rest only on the horizon of this world, on its material things, but be directed toward God, like the Christmas tree that bends upward and illuminates the darkness of the night with its light.
The Pope also wished that all people recognize that to illumine our path we need the true light of Christ, “the light that enveloped the shepherds, announcing a great joy to them, the birth of Jesus”. It is this light that gives us hope, “especially in this time in which we feel so greatly the weight of difficulties, of problems, of sufferings, and it seems that we are enshrouded in a veil of darkness.”
Finally, Pope Benedict wished that each person share the light of Christ “in the spheres in which we live: our families, our jobs, our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. That each of us be a light for those who are at our sides, that we leave aside the selfishness that, so often, closes our hearts and leads us to think only of ourselves.”
Like the Christmas tree whose many lights together pierce the darkness, the light of Jesus that we share will be joined with many others to shatter the veil of darkness in the world.
Let your light shine for others.