World

Pope uses prayer service to ask people if they used 2013 to help others

  • Pope Francis celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has used his traditional year-end prayer service of thanksgiving to urge people to ask themselves: Did they spend 2013 to further their own interests or to help others?

That's what we all should "courageously" consider as New Year's celebrations get under way, the pontiff said, as he led the service in St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday evening.

In his homily, he asked people to reflect if they used 2013 to make the places where they live more livable and welcoming. Citing Rome as an example, Francis said the city is full of tourists, but also of refugees.

He said unemployed and underpaid workers all have the right to fair and welcoming treatment.