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Spiritual Reflection - December 2023

When will we learn?

It is somewhat irritating as Christmas draws near, writing something relating to the Christian message, when there is a war going on between the peoples of Palestine and Israel. Fighting for peace is of course a totally misleading slogan. Young Israeli’s conscripted into the armed forces are taught they must do this (go out and kill) and then return to normal life. They label the people they fight as “terrorists”. Even if they do win, and they most likely will, they will still lose because they will leave behind a people filled with anger and hate. 

Then, the members of Hamas, fighting to claim back their occupied land, we might label as foolish to have made their attack. Foolish, because we only needed to look at the suffering and deaths of children, as well as the destruction of Palestinian homes and way of life.

Perhaps, as never before does that land need to hear the cry of their own prophets. Quickly comes to mind for me the text from Deuteronomy: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live … (Dt 30:19). 

As well, the prophet Micah proclaims: This is what the Lord asks of you: live justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).

While observing this war, do we not cry out “if only …”? Very soon we will celebrate the birthday of the one who came to bring peace on earth. We must never forget the rest of the line “To all peoples of goodwill”.

To Vincentians therefore I say this as we approach Christmas: Keep on remembering that all you do, no matter how small, it is being done for the sake of peace on earth.

A happy Christmas to you all.