Saturday, December 31, 2011

World Day of Peace, 2012

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and World Day of Peace, 2011

Mary, Majors Basilica at Christmas

It is so fitting that the Church will celebrate this glorious feast as the New Year begins.  Eight days after the feast of the birth of Christ, we remember Mary by celebrating her divine Motherhood.  Mary is known as Theotokus, meaning the God-bearer.  By honoring Mary, as Mother of God, we are also honoring Our Lord who choose to become flesh of the Virgin's womb. 

Christmas honors Jesus as the "Prince of Peace," the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God honors Mary as the "Queen of Peace.  This feast celebrated on January 1st, is also designated the World Day of Peace.  The theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI is Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.

The Holy Father has asked all parents and teachers to be more attentive to the hopes and fears of young people and to their search for true values.  He asked governments to put more resources into education and job creation.
The Pope went on to call all young people to take their schooling seriously and to be open to the example and knowledge their elders have to share.  He said "be patient and persevering in seeking justice and peace, in cultivating the taste for what is just and true, even when it involves sacrifice and swimming against the tide."

As adults we must be living examples of what it means to live lives marked by the joy of faith, charity and respect for others.  We must be authentic witnesses of the love of Christ and the life of the gospel.  "Educating young people in justice and peace has to begin in the family where they learn to value the gift of life, solidarity, respect for rules, forgiveness and hospitality."  Peace is not simply a gift to be received from God, it is a task people of good will must undertake.  Let us all remember this in our prayers and adoration before Our Lord in the Eucharist.  He, the Prince of Peace, dwelling among us, will help us all to do what is good, to avoid evil, to be examples of love, to grow in compassion and generosity, promoting that peace which He brought to the earth on that first Christmas day.

Happy New Year to all and a blessed feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!

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