26 December.  Read, reflect, share, pray.  Day of Goodwill. The United Nations Secretary General, a sad and hurting man, awoke on Christmas morning to a new hope, a new dream.  “You worldly wise men, so-called leaders of the world, who debate and discuss, argue to convince and then veto every possibility of peace, should take a lesson from the children of the world.  You, in your climate debates, most recently at COP 28 always claim you are concerned about them and their future. Listen to the hope expressed by the children.  And listen to another sad and hurting old man, Pope Francis. In his messages, he repeats the constant refrain of his model and patron St Francis, “Praise God, for all his creatures.”  St Francis, who lived and loved Jesus totally, ended his life in full communion with him, in poverty and through his sharing in his bodily suffering bearing the wounds of Jesus on his own body. St Francis died as he had lived, proclaiming reconciliation, peace, praise and joy.  May that be the blessing of Christmas 2023.             

Scripture: Praise him, sun and moon, praise him all you shining stars. Praise him you highest heavens and you waters above the heavens.  Let them praise the name of the Lord for he commanded and they were created. Ps 148.  Pope Francis:  The Lord does not faint or grow weary. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. (Is 40)  LS 73

Pray the prayer of St Francis together and think about what you each can do to bring peace into the home and the world. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love,  where there is injury let me sow pardon, Where there is discord, harmony. Where there is doubt faith and where there is despair hope, Where there is darkness light and where there is sadness joy. 

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, to receive sympathy as to give it. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned  and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.   Amen