January 9 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

11-POPE-ANGELUS

Stay awake and stay active in God’s mission

This week’s editorial

Many children in Scotland went back to school after the Christmas holidays on Monday January 5, their parents back to work. And while it is undemanding to quickly forget the joy of Jesus’ birth, along with those New Year resolutions, and fall into a bleak midwinter slump, do try to resist that temptation.

Is there anything more depressing than packing the Nativity away for another year? Well yes, actually. Packing your Christmas spirit away with it would make matters worse. Christmas should open our hearts more than our wallets. It is a time of year when we all try to be our best, most positive selves and for one all too brief moment we are filled again with hope and wonder by the Holy Spirit like children.

For many in Scotland January is a return to reality, be that the reality of the everyday grind, loneliness, illness, bereavement—such as those grieving after the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy—family conflict or financial strife. Internationally the global conflicts and religious persecution of 2014 have not gone away. Not three days after his message for the 2015 World day of Peace, Pope Francis felt the need to reiterate his call for peace in the world in his Sunday Angelus.

“Peace is not only the absence of war, but a general condition in which the human person is in harmony with himself, in harmony with nature, and in harmony with others,” he said. “This is peace.”

We must make peace with ourselves, within our families and communities, with the past, present and future. It has to be a lasting peace built on respect, support and patience—respect for life and the family, support for those at the fringes of our society and patience for the sick and elderly. This is the message we must send in 2015, to our politicians who have the power to help free the working poor in our country from the slavery of poverty at the same time as focusing on ending human trafficking internationally as Pope Francis has asked.

We begin 2015, a general election year in the UK, facing as many choices as we do challenges: Our politicians at Holyrood and Westminster contemplate making decisions on assisted suicide; the electorate faces electing a UK Government; our Church, in this year for consecrated life, prepares for the Episcopal ordination of a new bishop in Galloway and for the October synod on the family.

Blessed are the peacemakers? Yes indeed. But peacemakers come in many varieties and can take an active role in changing the world around them while on their mission. So stay active, stay awake in God’s mission of peace this year.

 

 

 

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