'Peace in the Holy Land Means Peace Elsewhere'
Reflection by Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM, DEC. 26, 2004 (Zenit) - The apostolic delegate in Jerusalem wrote this reflection for Christmas, noting that the birth of Christ and the faith of Christians and pilgrims are a source of optimism and peace. This reflection was first published by AsiaNews, an agency of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
* * *
Christmas, Peace in the Holy Land, Peace on Earth by Archbishop Pietro Sambi
As Christmas approaches, Christians ask themselves: Am I an optimist or a pessimist? The answer is found in a prayer in the season's liturgy: "Lord, we feel unworthy servants of Thee and sadly feel all the evil that makes our life empty. Give us however the joy of the birth of Your Son who came to save us."
The first part of this prayer speaks to what lies behind our pessimism; the second highlights the reasons for our optimism.
At no other time of the year and in other place but in Bethlehem can one feel so close to God. Born like me, flesh like me, he travels with me in my life.
Loneliness ends as we kneel in faith and love before the Child in Bethlehem. Emmanuel -- God with us -- and who shall be against us? Our sense of emptiness ends because when we are with God we have everything. Our sense of desperation ends because when we know God is beside us we become uncommonly strong and courageous.
My wish for all Christians in the world and all people of good will is that they may simply and humbly recognize the presence of God, see His face and experience the Christian sense of life.
Although in Israel and Palestine, optimism and pessimism take turns, I believe we need the former, for pessimism makes you throw up your arms and become passive as your creativity wilts. Optimism, by contrast, allows you to escape the prison of the moment for it knows how to plant a seed on the other side of the divide, a seed that will grow into a better tomorrow.
There are signs of optimism in the Holy Land, signs of good will and peace. A new page has been turned that only waits to be written.
I have always said that the key to peace in many parts of the world are found in Jerusalem. Peace in the Holy Land means peace elsewhere. As the Pope said: "Peace is possible. It is not an option, it is a duty."
There may be signs of peace but they are not yet legion. The wall is still being built and people are still dying. Hence, we need deeds that counter the current situation. But the first signs are there, visible in the small steps taken by Israeli and Palestinian authorities, expressions of a will for peace.
Many world leaders in recent days have said that they will commit themselves to bring peace to the Holy Land. More and more people are conscious that peace here means peace elsewhere.
In conflict that has lasted too long, Christians are both victims and bearers of hope. They may be just 2% of the people who call the Holy Land home, but witness is not measured in quantity but in the quality of the signs given, and Christians are a sign of reconciliation. And this sign will be as strong as the tie that binds Christians around the world to Christians living across the Holy Land.
Reconciliation is also measured by the number of pilgrims who walk the streets of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth in the footsteps of Jesus, praying without hatred in their eyes, friendship toward Jews and Palestinians in their heart.
Walking in the land of Jesus, Christian pilgrims personally reconcile with God. In so doing, they are a sign of reconciliation in the Holy Land.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Peace, Christmas, Jerusalem, War, Christ, Israel
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Joan of Arc: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 30, 2017
- A Big Thank You from JESUS IS - The Series HD Video
- What does the Holy Spirit reveal to us?
- To honor the lost: A brief history of Memorial Day
- Newborn baby filmed 'WALKING' shortly after birth
- 26 Coptic Christians dead after heinous attack HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, May 30, 2017
- Day 5 - Novena to the Holy Spirit for a New Pentecost for the Church HD
- Day 4 - Novena to the Holy Spirit for a New Pentecost for the Church HD
- Day 3 - Novena to the Holy Spirit for a New Pentecost for the Church HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.