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Christmastide

‘May the Lord give you peace.’ This is the greeting which Francis and his early brothers used as they went around Italy, preaching the gospel and serving the poor. Francis tells us that it had been revealed to him by God. In that spirit he also told his brothers that when they entered a house they were to echo the words of Jesus’ own disciples, and say ‘Peace to this house.’ At Christmas God’s gift of peace becomes visible and tangible, in a child born in poverty, in an occupied land.

Because of the birth of the child Jesus at Bethlehem we can be at peace with ourselves, since God has valued our humanity enough to become one of us; we can be at peace with one another, friends and strangers and enemies alike, since in each human face we can see the face of Jesus, which is the face of God; and we can be at peace with all of creation, since the creator of the world has united in himself the divine and the human, the creator and the created.

So let us join in Francis’ prayer:

 

‘And we thank you
for as through your Son you created us
so also, through your holy love with which you loved us
you brought about his birth
as true God and true man.’
May the Lord give you and your house peace, may the Lord give peace to a world in conflict, may the Lord give peace to this beautiful planet, this Christmas and always.

Music for reflection:
Spiritual Motherhood from ‘Love Holding Love‘ © Josef Raischl SFO (used with permission)
Nativity © Sr Mary Stephen CRS
Copyright Administration: McCrimmons Publishing Co. Ltd www.mccrimmons.com (used with permission)