'Blessed are the Peacemakers'
Message of Pope Benedict XVI for the World Day of Peace
For over 45 years the pope has issued a message calling for world peace at the beginning of each New Year, traditionally released on December 8th. However, this year Pope Benedict’s message was delayed until December 14th, the day America was consumed with grief over the murder of 20 innocent first graders and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Seen through the eyes of this tragedy, Benedict’s open paragraph takes on poignant meaning:
“Fifty years after the beginning of the Second Vatican Council… it is heartening to realize that Christians, as the People of God in fellowship with him and sojourning among mankind, are committed within history to sharing humanity’s joys and hopes, grief and anguish, as they proclaim the salvation of Christ and promote peace for all.” (1)
During this time when grief and anguish are colliding with humanity’s joys and hopes, Christ’s birth into human history reminds us that “peace is both a messianic gift and the fruit of human effort,” and “presupposes a humanism open to transcendence.” (2) Two thousand years after the birth of the Prince of Peace, we Christians are still trying to figure out how to promote peace for all. (Read entire column by LCWR president Florence Deacon, OSF in the newsletter which is attached below.))