The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves." So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.


To the Queen of Peace, the Mother of Jesus Christ "our peace" (Eph 2:14), I entrust my urgent prayer for all humanity at the beginning of the year . . . to which we look with hearts full of hope, notwithstanding the dangers and difficulties that surround us. May Mary show us, in her Son, the Way of peace, and enlighten our vision, so that we can recognize Christ's face in the face of every human person, the heart of peace!
Oh Lord, sometimes my insides feel like a battle zone, where missiles are falling too close to home. Other times I'm caught in an endless storm, with thoughts flying out of control. Confusion reigns, and defeat creeps in to steal my joy. I need your peace—the deep-down-in-your-heart kind that stays with me day and night and speaks confidently into the wind. Calm my anxious spirit, Lord; all the attacking "if-onlys" and "what-ifs" fill me with needless worry.
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