“It’s all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war,” Pope Francis said. “A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be—a little here, a little there—there is no justification.”—Pope Francis
Pope Francis is loved by many, Catholics, Protestants and Atheists alike. He is a humble man of peace and love, with deep concern for the world. This concern seen in his recent comments about Christmas.
I think that this is one of the only times you will hear me disagree with him on a subject.
Christmas can be a charade on many levels, but the fact that the world is at war is nothing new. The world has been at war since the beginning of humanity. And in fact, I would argue that Christians need to celebrate Christmas BECAUSE the world does not know the way of peace.
The gospel writers are sure to paint a picture that shows that when Jesus was born the world was far from peaceful. The Israelite people were oppressed by the Roman rule. The story is told of “the slaughter of the innocents”, in which Jesus own family become refugees fleeing to save Jesus life.
So as we begin the advent season, looking toward the celebration of the birth of Jesus and wait for his coming again, we wait with hope and not despair.
Luke 21:25-36 record Jesus teaching about the signs of the time. It’s part of the response Jesus gives to the disciples when they ask what the signs will be.
We get all caught up in predicting events and times, but the reality is that what matters most is what we do with the time that God gives us, while we are waiting. Do we put away Christmas this year because we are not at peace in the world, or because as human beings we may never understand the way of peace?
Jesus says “Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
So maybe it is right to light the lights, put up the trees and nativity scenes and dance with joy, because we know that although peace is far off…that indeed our redemption draws near.
Note: Year B was pretty much a bust for me on this blog, but hopefully year C will be better.
Photo Credit: By Benhur Arcayan (Malacañang Photo Bureau) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons