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Pope Francis waves to the faithful Tuesday before visiting the crib in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis used his year-end prayer service Tuesday to urge people to ask themselves a tough question: Did they mainly spend 2013 promoting self-interests or helping others?
“Let us courageously ask ourselves: How did we live the time [God] gave us?” Francis asked in his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica. “Did we use it above all for ourselves, for our interests, or did we know how to spend it for others as well?”
There are “so many people marked by material and moral poverty, poor people, unhappy, suffering, who appeal to the conscience not only of public authorities but of every citizen,” Francis said in the Vatican year-end tradition.
Francis has stressed that he wants the Catholic Church to be a “poor” church, focused on reaching out to those who live on the margins of society.