According to Vatican Radio, during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reminded those gathered that "God walks with us, makes history, tests us and saves us in the worst moments."
The Apostle St. Paul reminds us God is our Father, the Pontiff recalled, noting that "step by step" as God ‘makes’ history with us, he continues the history of salvation.
"Making history with his people," the Pope observed, "means for God to walk and to test his elect." But in the end God saves them, Francis stressed.
From the very beginning, Francis said, God made a journey through history with his people. Therefore, "there is no salvation without history. And to get to the point of today there was a long history, a long history."
Moreover, Francis pointed out that when we fail, "God corrects" and "brings us forward, forward, always walking with us."
Saying some may ask: "Father, this story is over with Christmas?"
He responded, "No!" saying, "Even now the Lord saves us in history" and "walks with his people."
The Pope explained that we are the elect of God, those chosen by Him "to help his people to move forward," just as Abraham, Moses, and Elijah were chosen.
Yet, he noted this is not always a peaceful path, but sometimes calls for the elect to experience some bad times, and even dark, awkward, and even disturbing moments.
Moses and Elijah, he said, exemplify people who God tested, who the Lord took out of their comfort zone.
Turning to the day’s Gospel in which Joseph discovers that his betrothed, Mary, is pregnant, he said this marks another test and a big moment in salvation history.
Francis noted how Joseph suffered and would see village women gossiping, but knew Mary was “incapable of infidelity" and trusted her.
"In these difficult moments," the Pontiff noted, God’s elect, to make history, must take the problem on their shoulders, even if they don’t understand why.
"Joseph does so. The man, in the worst moment of his life, the most obscure, takes the problem upon himself,” trusting in the Lord, the Holy Father said.
"Let us always remember, with confidence, even in the worst moments, even in times of illness, when we realize that we have to ask the last rites, because there is no exit, saying: 'But, Lord, the story did not start with me and will not end with me!'"
Rather, the Pope noted, "You must go ahead," saying, "I am willing," and put difficult moments and doubts in the hands of the Lord.
"May the Lord make us understand this mystery of his walk with his people in history, his testing his elect, and the greatness of the heart of his elect, who take upon themselves the pains, problems, even the appearance of sinners - we think of Jesus - to advance history," the Holy Father prayed.