Pope Francis' Message for 52nd World Day of Peace
In a world of tensions between great powers and amid persistent global crises, Pope Francis has focussed his message for the World Day of Peace, celebrated on 1 January, on 'good politics'.
'Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions', says Pope Francis,'but when political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction. On the other hand, says the Pope,'If exercised with basic respect for the life, freedom and dignity of persons, political life can indeed become an outstanding form of charity'.
In 2018 the world searched for 'good' more than ever before — according to Google Trends.
Let us pray for our leaders and all who serve in public life that they might engage in 'good politics'.
Citing the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Pope Francis reminds us also of our responsibilities. He identifies 'three inseparable aspects' of peace, 'a challenge that demands to be taken up ever new' and which each one of us must undertake:
'-peace with oneself, rejecting inflexibility, anger and impatience; in the words of Saint Francis de Sales, showing “a bit of sweetness towards oneself” in order to offer “a bit of sweetness to others”;
-peace with others: family members, friends, strangers, the poor and the suffering, being unafraid to encounter them and listen to what they have to say;
-peace with all creation, , rediscovering the grandeur of God’s gift and our individual and shared responsibility as inhabitants of this world, citizens and builders of the future.'
Let us commit ourselves to work for peace in 2019, in ourselves, with others and with all creation.