January 1.  Sunday. New year’s Day. Feast of Mary, Mother of God, Pope Francis’ 56th World Day of Peace.  Fr Fidelis began with the greeting, “the Lord be with you.  Today as we begin a New Year, let it be a year to focus on your families and THE WORLD AS A FAMILY OF FAMILIES.  The words of St Mother Teresa, “Peace on earth begins in the home” can be added to the message of Pope Francis for this World Day of Peace, ‘No one can be saved alone’.  The Holy Father referred to world events, the Covid 19 pandemic and wars still raging in places, in particular the Ukraine.   He encouraged everyone to remain steadfast and embark together on paths of peace. Our SA bishops have also issued a prayer for peace and this day can also be the beginning of a time of prayer together in our small families, for peace, harmony and care of all of creation. Reflect, share, act, pray.

Scripture.  “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thess (5:1-2).

Pope Francis writes in his Message for the 56th World Day of Peace:  “When tragic events seem to overwhelm our lives, we are called to keep our hearts open to hope and to trust in God, who makes himself present, accompanies us with tenderness, sustains us in our weariness and, above all, guides our path. The pandemic seems to have upset even the most peaceful parts of our world, and exposed any number of forms of fragility.” He stresses, “now, three years later, the time is right to question, learn, grow and allow ourselves to be transformed as individuals and as communities, reminding us, as  before, that we never emerge the same from times of crisis: we emerge either better or worse.   This experience has made us all the more aware of the need for everyone, including peoples and nations, to restore the word “together” to a central place. Only the peace that comes from a fraternal and disinterested love can help us overcome personal, societal and global crises.  Our greatest and yet most fragile treasure is our shared humanity as brothers and sisters, children of God. None of us can be saved alone.”