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World Day of Peace: January 1, 2016

December 23rd, 2015

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January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and New Year’s Day, has, for many years, been designated by the Church as World Day of Peace. The theme for Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message for 2016 is “Overcome Indifference and Win Peace.”

In his message the Holy Father states, “God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us!” He goes on to note that while, sadly, war and terrorism, accompanied by ethnic and religious persecution and the misuse of power, marked the past year from start to finish, and have become, in some parts of the world, so common as to constitute a “third world war fought piecemeal”, other events are reason for inspiration, demonstrating the human capacity to show solidarity and to rise above self-interest, apathy and indifference in the face of critical situations.

Pope Francis asks us, during the present Jubilee of Mercy “to pray and work so that every Christian will have a humble and compassionate heart, one capable of proclaiming and witnessing to mercy…to ‘forgive and give’, to become more open ‘to those living on the outermost fringes of society’…and to refuse to fall into ‘a humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine which prevents us from discovering what is new! Let us ward off destructive cynicism!’”

Links to the full message, along with other resources are available on the USCCB website.

Join us in praying to overcome indifference(USCCB):

All too often, Lord, we turn away from the world’s many problems,

which seem too big, too complex, or too far away.

Forgive us our indifference.

It is easier, Lord, to see only what is around us:

our lives, our homes, our challenges.

Forgive us our isolation.

Help us to see with your eyes:

eyes which notice one another

and help us understand.

Help us to dream your dream:

of communities that reach out and dialogue

and where diverse people creatively cooperate.

Help us to be people of solidarity and action,

so moved by prayer, encounter, and understanding

that peace can become a reality.

Amen.

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