I am not Catholic, but have been impressed by Pope Francis’ writings and pronouncements this past year. Here are some passages from his Christmas Eve message.
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors (Luke 2:14)
I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. It is a song which unites heaven and earth, giving praise and glory to heaven, and the promise of peace to earth and all its people.
I ask everyone to share in this song: it is a song for every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty.
His message this year included a plea for peace in places of conflict around the world, including Syria, Sudan, Nigeria and for a favorable resolution in the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. It included concern about our world.
Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity. Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon.
And finally, a call for all of us to work for peace.
God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by God’s goodness.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Peace.