“The whole world is at war,” Pope Francis said this morning in his homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. The rejection of the “path of peace,” he went on, means that God Himself, that Jesus Himself, weeps.
Certainly our Holy Father is referring to the recent terrorist attacks on the city of Paris and ensuing threats by ISIS that further attacks are planned for other cities throughout the world, including New York, Washington DC, and the Vatican.
Right now, it can seem as though those threats are far away – in another country, perhaps even in another world, so to speak, in places that do not directly touch our lives.
But as I’ve written in Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena, the peace for which we so long, the peace that at the moment may seem so far away, begins in our very own hearts and homes.
I think the Holy Father had that in mind when he went on to say:
“Today Jesus weeps as well: because we have chosen the way of war, the way of hatred, the way of enmities. We are close to Christmas: there will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war. The world has not understood the way of peace.”
Pope Francis has drawn a striking contrast between what’s going on in the world and what we’ll soon be doing in the comfort of our own complacent lives.
Lights, parties, bright trees, and even Nativity scenes all decked out will be part of our holiday preparations. And, rightfully so, because we’ll be observing the Birth of the Savior and the coming of our salvation.
What the pope said this morning has got me thinking about these things from a different angle than I did before.
The Christmas lights are meant to represent the Light of Christ which comes to us on Christmas Eve. I’m wondering now if they also should represent prayers and sacrifices offered by us for peace in our hearts, homes, and in our world.