When the year is closing in, the hustle and bustle of the town is what sets in. Many a people flash back to the resolutions made at the beginning of the year with less or no success registered. However, in this issue, we want to re-echo that we rethink new ways of our human existence. Thus, we ought to let by gones be by gones as we enliven life given unto us, by the Prince of Peace: Christ. It is a season we ought to remember as Fr. Anthony Kibira MCCJ reminds us in his article; ‘Peace I Leave You, My Peace I Give You’ that the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King on the last Sunday in the liturgical year, points to the one who crowns the year with peace and sets a new beginning for a journey of peace. It is for us to close the year peacefully by journeying “… in the steps of our King who has sown seeds of peace in His disciples’ hearts. He is the rising sun that brings light into humanity’s darkness and guides peoples into the way of peace (see Lk 1:78-79)”.
With a peaceful existence, the gruesome killings in Barlonyo, that took place on 21st February 2004 at Barlonyo Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda, Lira district committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony witnessed and reported by Fr. Sebhat Ayele MCCJ, issues of Domestic violence which is a human rights problem and an economic problem, as well as a health problem analyzed by Bob Kisiki; the lethal stigmatization of HIV victims that Atimango Magrette a counselor with ReachOut Mbuya confessed of and other wanting cases that reduce human beings to nothing would be stories of the past.
In fact, Christmas as it comes should not just be about the date; the Church as a community of peacemakers in the world, ought to follow the crucified and risen Lord. This peace doesn’t necessarily mean mere absence of war but as St. Pope John Paul II says, “the new name for peace is development”. This can be achieved if all are interested in the common good for all humanity as our norm, instead of individual greed.
The query of giving a helping hand to refugees is a noble calling; Fr. Lazar Arasu SDB whilst analysing the challenge for the care of refugees notes that international bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations are able to do only little, which is a calling for the religious and lay people to get into the lives of these vulnerable people in whatever way we can. As the church, we might be guilty to answer the question; ‘Have we made any pastoral plan to serve refugees while they are with us?’ This does not require professionalism, but a heart for humanity – we have to come in to fill the gap, to serve selflessly, to reach as Pope Francis often emphasizes, the peripheries of society.
St. Athanasius is known to have formulated a very provocative statement: “God became man that man might become God.” (St. Athanasius, on incarnation) This means that the humans on earth should learn godly ways. Peace is one of them. Caring for humanity should be at the centre of our lives. The king’s descent into human darkness is the root for human ascent into God’s reality and godly ways. On the Cross, Jesus lays bare both the problem and the way out of violence to lasting peace. The newly born king awakens the desire for peace in those who are searching for it. It is not surprising that the many “Herods” in the history of humanity have been threatened by the efforts of many peace-lovers in the world.
In the beatitudes, Jesus says clearly: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Mt 5:9) In order to have true peace, we ought to embrace the teaching of Jesus and be ready for a radical change of heart. With this in mind, we can truly welcome Christ, the prince of peace in our lives, for the parting gift that He gave all was peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” We pride in Christ’s lasting peace which is enough for all. May God’ peace fill our hearts to a peaceful humane existence this season.
We wish you all a Peaceful Merry Christmas!
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