Pope Francis led the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas on Thursday by celebrating a Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
In his homily, the pope rebuked what he called society's "intoxication" with consumerism, pleasure, abundance and wealth.
Noting the simplicity of Jesus' birth in a stable, Francis said Jesus "calls us to act soberly — in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential.''
The 79-year-old Argentine pope also used his homily to press some of the key themes of his papacy: mercy, compassion, empathy and justice. READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON VOA NEWS ONLINE.