Good Politics is at the Service of Peace
Dec 19, 2018
Besides being New Year’s Day and the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. January 1st is also celebrated as World Day of Peace. The date was so designated for the first time back in 1968 by St. Pope Paul VI. Every year since that day the Pope has released a message outlining his prayers for peace and giving an indication of what will be the focus and tone for the Vatican’s diplomatic endeavors for the coming year. The message is distributed to government foreign ministers around the world before it is official released by the Holy See on New Year’s Day.
In early November the Vatican released the theme of the message which is, “Good politics is at the service of peace”. In his message Pope Francis will stress, “political responsibility belongs to every citizen, and in particular to those who have been given the mandate to protect and to govern”. Given the political climate in our country and in so many other nations throughout the world where the political environment is tumultuous the Pope has chosen an important topic.
The Pope states that those who exercise political responsibilities have received a mandate to protect and to govern. He reminds politicians that they have the mission to, “safeguard the law and to encourage dialogue between all actors of society, between generations, and between cultures”.
Pope Francis will be noting in his message that there can be no peace without mutual respect. In his message Francis will recall Pope Paul VI’s observation that the first condition for trust is respect for the given word. The pope will point out that, “political commitment – which is one of the highest expressions of charity-implies concern for the future of life and of the planet, of the youngest and of the smallest, in their trust for fulfillment”.
It seems as if in his World Peace Day message, the pope will be addressing some major concerns regarding the deterioration of the political climate throughout the world. In our country and in so many others political discussion has become very contentious and a willingness to debate and reach a consensus or compromise increasingly impossible.
As a new Congress takes its seats early next year we should pray for an improved political climate in our country. We need to pray and work to encourage politicians of all stripes at all levels of government to work together for the common good. We must remind especially those who are newly elected to office of the responsibility to formulate policies that protect the most vulnerable in our society and treat all with respect.
The spirit of Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message doesn’t only apply to the professional politician but to all of us. We all need to work for an improved political climate. A handout from the US Conference of Bishops published to mark the day suggest that we make a transformed political climate the focus of our prayer. Don’t make that just a general prayer request but as in all prayer we need to get specific. We can get specific in prayer for a better political climate by maybe taking a particular issue discussed in a newspaper or social media article to prayer. Ask God to open the contentious sides to move their hearts to compromise as they work towards a resolution of the issue.
We need to also learn about the issues that are causing disagreement in our country or community. Don’t just settle for one point of view on an issue but listen to different sources and viewpoints to come to your own opinion. Most of all look for stories about instances of hope for a better political climate. Seek out stories of where people worked together through compromise and a willingness to reach conscious to resolve issues.
We also can’t sit on the sidelines moaning about our political climate. We need to join together with others who hope for progress in our political climate to work for polices that work to support justice and peace and bring an end to poverty. This new year make working to reestablish respect and bipartisanship in our political climate.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow charity;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light; and
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Thank You for Holiday Best Wishes
Fr. Sullivan would like to thank all those who sent Christmas cards or shared some of your holiday baking with him and the parish staff. Your generosity is appreciated very much. Please accept our best wishes for your good health and prosperity in the new year.
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Monday, December 31, New Year’s Eve 4:00 PM
Tuesday, January 1, New Year’s Day 10:00 AM
Come and get the new year off well by sharing in the Eucharist.
Children’s Christmas Pageant Planned
Our Children’s Christmas Pageant is scheduled for next Sunday, January 6, 2018, before the 10 AM Mass. We planned the pageant for the Feast of the Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, because last year we had to cancel plans to hold it on Christmas Eve because we didn’t have enough Faith Formation children willing to participate on Christmas. It seems too many were going out of town for Christmas or had other commitments. Holding the pageant on Epiphany is a good plan because the pageant will be after the hubbub of Christmas Day is behind us. The pageant will take about fifteen minutes so I’m sure you understand the 10AM Mass might run a little after the 11 o’clock hour. Please plan to come and support our parish youth.
Follow Us on Facebook
If you’re a social media devotee you can follow parish activities on our Facebook. More and more parishioners are accessing the page and also “Liking Us”. Why not do the same.
End of the Year Parish Donations
Many people need to take a distribution from a 401K, IRA or other such funds before the end of the year. It is often advantageous for tax purposes to make a charitable donation of some of these funds. Recently the parish received a gift of $3,500 from a parishioner in such a situation. Their generosity is appreciated very much. If you find yourself in such a situation please consider a year end gift to Holy Redeemer Parish.
Diocese of Fall River Vocation Office Discernment Retreat Weekend
The Diocese of Fall River Vocation Office is hosting a discernment weekend for Men ages 18-45 at the Betania II Spiritual Life and Marian Center, 154 Summer St. Medway, MA from Friday February 22 to Sunday February 24. If interested, please contact Fr. Jack Schrader at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-695-6161.