As we celebrate the 52nd World Day of Peace on January 1, 2019, let us reflect on the message of Pope Francis (available here):
"In sending his disciples forth on mission, Jesus told them, 'Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you' (Lk 10:5-6).
"Bringing peace is central to the mission of Christ's disciples. That peace is offered to all those men and women who long for peace amid the tragedies and violence that mark human history. The 'house' of which Jesus speaks is every family, community, country and continent in all their diversity and history. It is first and foremost each individual person, without distinction or discrimination. But it is also our 'common home': the world in which God has placed us and which we are called to care for and cultivate.
"So let this be my greeting at the beginning of the New Year: 'Peace be to this house!'"
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"[Peace] entails a conversion of heart and soul; it is both interior and communal; and it has three inseparable aspects:
- peace with oneself, rejecting inflexibility, anger and impatience; in the words of St. Francis de Sales, showing 'a bit of sweetness toward oneself' in order to offer 'a bit of sweetness to others';
- peace with others: family members, friends, strangers, the poor and suffering, being unafraid to encounter them and listen to what they have to say;
- peace with all creation, rediscovering the grandeur of God's gift and our individual and shared responsibility as inhabitants of this world, citizens and builders of the future.
"The politics of peace, conscious of and deeply concerned for every situation of human vulnerability, can always draw inspiration from the Magnificat, the hymn that Mary, the Mother of Christ the Savior and Queen of Peace, sang in the name of all mankind: 'He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm; he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly; . . . for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever' (Lk 1:50-55)."
Happy new year and blessed World Day of Peace to all!