Live Nativity Scene at San Polo Matese in Italy's Abruzzo region Live Nativity Scene at San Polo Matese in Italy's Abruzzo region 

Christmas 2023: May the Lord's birth inspire peacemaking and respect

The birth of Jesus is the most powerful sign and message of hope in a world darkened by the shadows of fear and uncertainty. For Christmas 2023, Vatican Radio has asked religious leaders and heads of Christian charitable organizations for their reflections on the theme, “The Lord’s birth is the birth of peace.” Today’s message comes from Archbishop Timothy Broglio, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop for the Military Services.
Listen to Archbishop Broglio's Christmas Message

Christmas Message of Archbishop Timothy Broglio

President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
and Archbishop for the Military Services

As we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of the Prince of Peace, my thoughts go out to all of those who suffer from the trials of war. Certainly, the Holy Land, Ukraine, Syria, and Africa readily come to mind. However, we must also think about our societies and cities.

We pray for peace. We engage ourselves in a renewed attempt to encourage civil dialogue and cooperation in place of stale polemics, education, and understanding in place of foregone conclusions and the repetition of the last thing garnered from the internet.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio
Archbishop Timothy Broglio

Divine love moved the Eternal Father to send His Son for our salvation. It means that Almighty God deemed us worthy of that supreme sacrifice. That tells us something about the value of each unique human person and urges us to treat each other with respect, understanding, and courtesy.

Peace begins there, and we are ever learners who want to enshrine peacemaking in the ordinary activities of each day. Most of us are not called to the negotiating table, but we can all communicate ways of peace and respect.

We ask to join that first band that kept company with Jesus, the donkey and the ox, so as to learn some docility from them. We might then also appreciate the value of silence in our noisy world. We might also apply the lessons of listening, learned from the preparation for the Synod assembly and the experience of the same.

I willingly wish all the listeners a blessed Christmas and a New Year of peace with justice. 


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27 December 2023, 08:28