Pope Francis Christmas Greeting reflection by father Stefan

Pope Francis writes, “True peace – we know this well – is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely “façade” which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment, but making peace is an art, starting from God’s gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.

Looking at the Child in the manger, Child of peace, our thoughts turn to those children who are the most vulnerable victims of wars, but we think too of the elderly, to battered women, to the sick… Wars shatter and hurt so many lives!.”

As the song says, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” If a nation wants to start a war they have to assemble weapons and men. It takes much time and resources. Peace works in the opposite direction. To bring peace all it takes is one person following the path of peace.You don’t need any resources to bring peace. All you need is to have Jesus the Prince of Peace in your heart. 

Cantalamessa says in his book, ‘beatitudes’, “In one of its hymns the church calls the Trinity, ‘an ocean of peace.’ Contemplating the Trinity, to overcome hateful divisions of this world…There is an unbreakable link between peace as a gift from above and the Holy Spirit. It is not insignificant that they are both represented by the symbol of a dove. On Easter night Jesus gave his disciples, almost in the same breath, peace and the Holy Spirit: ‘Peace be with you.'(John 20:21) Having said this, he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ Peace, says Paul, is a ‘Fruit of the Spirit.'”

Are we a people of peace? As a gift to Jesus, we can bring peace to our own little world of our family, parish and home.

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