Merry Christmas 2016, Day 5

Nicola Pietro Gerini, Adoration of the Shepherds

Beloved children: beside the cradle of the newborn Child, the son of God made man, every man who walks the earth with an upright and serious conscience knows that in the supreme hour he will be asked to give a strict account of the gift of life: and this will receive a definitive sanction of reward or punishment, of glory or abomination.
This awareness of rendering an account one day is the measure of the Christian participation in the great mystery we celebrate tonight. From this mystery arises the desire that by the light of the Word of God human civilization will receive the flame that can transform it into a living brightness, for the good of all people.
Around the cradle of Jesus his angels sang peace. Whoever believes this message and honors it will receive glory and joy. As it was yesterday, is today, and will be forever. The story of Jesus is eternal. Blessed is he who understands it and obtains from it grace, strength and blessing. Amen. Amen.

~ Pope St. John XXIII, Christmas Eve homily, 1962 (my translation)