When I used to work in the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, one of our tasks was to work with the Holy Father as he prepared his annual World Day of Peace Message which was sent out to all the heads of State and heads of governments around the world. These messages, first begun in 1967, treat a theme that the Pope chooses as a reflection on the challenge and the responsibility for all of us to be peacemakers. Put together these messages constitute an extraordinary catechesis on peace and the components necessary for building a peaceful world.

This year On January 1, the Pope celebrated the World Day of Peace at St. Peter’s and reflected on this year’s message which is entitled: Blessed Are the Peacemakers. I am a little behind on my reading and so did not get to the message till Presidents’ Day when I had a bit of free time. This is a beautiful meditation on peace with a Biblical richness and a spiritual vision that opens up ways to pray for peace, work for peace and become true advocates for peace.

You can find it on the Vatican website, www.vatican.va. Read it. Reflect on it. Pray over it. It is a perfect message for us all during this Lent. I assure you that you will resonate with the Pope’s message and be moved by his words. Make them your own.

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