A Christ­mas re­flec­tion

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY MAR­GARET HANN MARYS­TOWN

As we cel­e­brate Christ­mas this month it might do us good to reflect on Pope Fran­cis’ preach­ing at his first mid­night mass at St. Peter’s Basil­ica in Rome.

He re­flected on the re­al­ity of dark­ness that af­flicts our world, and how the birth of the Christ Child brings a light that can dis­pel the dark­ness. In our own lives there are bright and dark moments. If we love God and our brothers and sis­ters we walk in the light, but if our heart is closed, dark­ness falls within us and around us.

“Who­ever hates his brother” writes the Apos­tle John, is in the dark­ness, he walks in the dark­ness and does not know the way to go, be­cause the dark­ness has blinded his eyes.” Let us ask the Lord to give us the grace of close­ness in ev­ery con­flict.

St. Luke tells us that the an­gels ap­peared to the shep­herds in Beth­le­hem as they made their visit to the sta­ble and sang, “Glory to God in the high­est and peace on earth to the peo­ple of good will.”

Pope Fran­cis tells us that this song unites heaven and Earth, giv­ing praise and glory to heaven, and the prom­ise of peace to Earth. He goes on to say that it is a song for ev­ery man and woman who hopes for a bet­ter world, who cares for oth­ers while humbly seek­ing to do his or her duty.

We can also pro­mote and foster peace in our world. One of the roads to peace to all of us is the “way of prayer,” for our prayer rises as “in­cense to God.” The Holy Fa­ther tells us that our style of life should be de­vout, filled with em­pa­thy, com­pas­sion and mercy, drawn daily from the well­spring of prayer. Je­sus still of­fers us gen­tle mir­a­cles of heal­ing, of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and in­te­rior peace and con­so­la­tion.

“Where God is born, hope is born, where hope is born, peo­ple re­gain their dig­nity.” Yet even to­day great num­bers of men and women are de­prived of their hu­man dig­nity, and like the Christ child Je­sus, suf­fer cold, poverty and re­jec­tion. So many women to­day suf­fer vi­o­lence and are vic­tims of hu­man traf­fick­ing and the drug trade. Let us re­mem­ber too, all those peo­ple flee­ing poverty and war, trav­el­ling in in­hu­mane con­di­tions and not in­fre­quently at the risk of their lives.

Let us reflect upon and act out the won­der­ful prayer of St. Fran­cis of As­sisi:

May the peace and love that the Sea­son of­fers us re­main through­out the com­ing year.

Blessed Christ­mas to all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.