1st January 2018
WORLD DAY OF PEACE
“MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES: MEN AND WOMEN IN SEARCH OF PEACE”
On January 1 the whole Church celebrates the 51st World Day of Peace. In his message for this day, Pope Francis invites us to turn a “contemplative gaze” toward our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters. With the theme “MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES: MEN AND WOMEN IN SEARCH OF PEACE” all Catholics are challenged to embrace those who endure perilous journeys and hardships in order to find peace. He urges people of faith to turn with a “contemplative gaze” towards migrants and refugees, opening their hearts to the “gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their houses, in their streets and squares.”
In his Message, Pope Francis points situations of war, conflict, genocide, ethnic cleansing, poverty, lack of opportunity, and environmental degradation as reasons that families and individuals become refugees and migrants. And he proposes four “mileposts for action” as necessary in order to allow migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and trafficking victims the opportunity to find peace. These include:
– Welcoming, which calls for “expanding legal pathways for entry” and better balancing national security and fundamental human rights concerns;
– Protecting, or recognizing and defending “the inviolable dignity of those who flee”;
– Promoting, which entails “supporting the integral human development of migrants and refugees”;
– Integrating by allowing migrants and refugees to “participate fully in the life of society that welcomes them.”
Doing so enriches both those arriving and those welcoming.
Let us draw inspiration from the words of Saint John Paul II: “If the ‘dream’ of a peaceful world is shared by all, if the refugees’ and migrants’ contribution is properly evaluated, then humanity can become more and more a universal family and our earth a true ‘common home’.” Throughout history, many have believed in this “dream”, and their achievements are a testament to the fact that it is no mere utopia.
We remind all Clergy that in the homily on that day (which follows the Proper of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) explain to the faithful the Holy Father’s message and urge them to pray for world peace.
In all Masses, the collection is for the Pontifical Commission “Justice and Peace.”
Given at the Chancery Office on 18 December 2017.
Fr Manuel Machado, MCCJ