The annual celebration of Christmas not only recalls Christ’s birth, it celebrates his continue presence in the world and in history, Pope Benedict XVI said. The Pope hosted his first general audience of the new year, Jan. 5, sheltered from the cold of Rome in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
In his message to a crowd of thousands, many of whom are still on vacation from work and school, he focused on the meaning of the Christmas liturgies.
Christmas continues to fascinate people, he said, "because everyone in one way or another is intuitively aware that the birth of Jesus concerns man's most profound aspirations and hopes."
The world is again renewed in the light of Christ in a "mysterious, yet real way" during Christmas. And, "each (liturgical) celebration is the real presence of the mystery of Christ and a prolongation of the history of salvation," he said.