Pope Francis Christmas Message
Pope Francis gave his traditional Christmas message and Blessing Urbi et Orbi (“To the City [of Rome] and the World”), offering words of hope and consolation, saying a birth is always a source of hope, and “this Child, Jesus, was born ‘to us’ … without any borders, privileges or exclusions.”
He said this fundamental reality is something we can all build on to address the monumental challenges we are facing at this moment in history, such as the ecological crisis and serious economic and social imbalances worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the great difficulties we are facing, the Pope noted that the Christ child “tells us that pain and evil are not the final word”, and he remembered as examples those who “instead work to bring hope, comfort and help to those who suffer and those who are alone.”
Renew the Face of the Earth
We have longed for the year 2020 to be over, to move away from the pandemic that has wounded us collectively and individually. With 2021 on the calendar, it feels like maybe, just maybe we can start anew at some point. Given the chance, we, along with all of creation, have the capacity to renew, that is, to be “new again”— not only each year but each moment. An essential ingredient to renewal is peace. The church calls us to follow Christ the Way of Peace, as Pope Benedict said on this day in 2007, “with hearts full of hope, notwithstanding the dangers and difficulties that surround us.” Let us pray for and choose peace for ourselves and for the world in all that we renew this year. (TakeFiveforFaith.com)
January 1, 2021 - Feast of Mary, Mother of God - World Day of Prayer for Peace
“Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”