During his visit to Iraq for the Christmas celebrations, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said: “After its time of trial, the Holy Family returned to Nazareth. The return from exile is also beginning for you. Happily, in your city of Qaraqosh, and in other villages of the Plain of Nineveh, houses are being rebuilt and many of you have already come home. This is a source of joy and hope for the universal Church and for your country.

“Even so, the most difficult task is not material reconstruction, but the rebuilding of trust, the reassembling of a social fabric torn by betrayal, bitterness and hatred. Here is your vocation and your mission: what is at stake is your fidelity to your own roots and to the building of a better future for your children. For this reason, I affirm once again the importance of the Christian presence in the Middle East. You are the presence of Jesus.”    

The world needs mothers

In his homily on January 1, World day of Peace, Pope Francis said: “A world that looks to the future without a mother’s gaze is short-sighted. It may well increase its profits, but it will no longer see others as children. It will make money, but not for everyone. We will all dwell in the same house, but not as brothers and sisters.

“Humanity is built upon mothers... a world in which maternal tenderness is dismissed as mere sentiment may be rich materially, but poor where the future is concerned.” 

Politics and charity

Commenting on the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace, Bishop Brendan Leahy, the Bishop of Limerick, Ireland, said:

“We need to pray for politicians and pray that young people will consider entering politics with high ideals. Indeed, politics can be considered the highest form of Christian charity because it is a love that serves all the loves of society – the love at the service of the family, the love serving young couples preparing for marriage and family life, the love accompanying children going to schools and engaging in medical services, the love assisting the elderly in their declining years, the love embodied in officials in public office, in statutory agencies, love serving those at work, in business, in agriculture…

“Politics is at the service of all of this. Politicians, therefore, have an opportunity to exercise great charity. They can work for the common good.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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