A Christmas reflection
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.