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    Cardinal O’Malley speaks of God’s love at Christmastime

    Boston, Ma., 12/24/2018, Cardinal Sean O'Malley said grace for the men at the Pine Street Inn holiday luncheon. A holiday luncheon was served to residents and guests of the Pine Street Inn. Over 1,000 meals were prepared and served to men and women at various locations throughout the city. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
    Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
    Cardinal Sean O'Malley said grace for the men at the Pine Street Inn holiday luncheon.

    The Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston said that Christmas is a reminder of God’s love for humanity, and His love is part of what makes people who they are, as the cardinal prepared for a hectic schedule of holiday events.

    “Christmas means that we are very worthwhile in God’s eyes,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley said in his annual holiday message to the faithful, a portion of which was posted in an online video. “For all of our bruises and failures and our sins, whether we are practicing Catholics, or recovering Catholics, or amateur Christians, we are all called by God, and we are beloved of God.

    “God loves us so much, he wants to be close to us,” the cardinal continued. “He makes himself little so that he can be close to us, and his love is what makes Christmas. And when we discover that love, we discover our own DNA, our own identity.”

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    Christmas and Christmas Eve are a busy time for O’Malley, as he addresses Catholics at two Masses and reaches out to comfort the less fortunate.

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    On Monday morning, O’Malley helped distribute 4,000 Christmas gifts to children and families in need at the Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s Parish in the Bowdoin-Geneva section of Dorchester.

    At that annual event, he appeared alongside the family of the late Thomas M. Menino, former mayor of Boston; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; and representatives from Catholic Charities of Boston.

    Later Monday morning, the cardinal was set to appear at a Christmas Eve luncheon for the homeless at the Pine Street Inn in the South End. On Monday night he will celebrate the traditional Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Boston.

    Then, on Christmas morning, O’Malley is scheduled to speak to homeless Bostonians again at St. Francis House, a downtown day shelter, and to celebrate a Christmas Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

    Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.