Association for defending Victims of terrorism – Vatican News reported, In his “Urbi et Orbi” Christmas message given at midday in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis expressed the joy of this day when God shows us through the birth of Jesus the way of encounter and dialogue so that we might know it and follow it in trust and hope, something needed more than ever in our troubled world.
The Pope observed that our world needs dialogue, especially in these pandemic times where unity and solidarity are essential to overcoming the hurt in social relationships, putting them to the test. Imagine what our world would be like if it were not for the patient dialogue of so many generous persons trying to keep families and communities together, preventing and resolving conflicts, he said.
Decrying the “great number” of seemingly unending conflicts, crises and divisions we are witnessing today, the Pope contrasted them with how today we celebrate the message of the Saviour’s birth, “source of true peace” that “resounds in our hearts” and the world. The Christmas message calls on us to respond to the tragedies in our world, he stressed, recalling the people of Syria who have suffered from ten years of war, and Iraq struggling to recover from decades of strife. He asked the world to hear the cry of the children of Yemen, suffering terribly as a result of a years-long conflict.
Looking at areas of the world in special need of our prayers and solidarity, the Pope’s thoughts turned to all working to provide humanitarian aid to those fleeing their homelands for various reasons, including Afghanistan suffering from more than forty years of war. He remembered the people of Myanmar where intolerance and violence are rampant, affecting even the Christian community and places of worship. The Pope prayed for all people working to advance encounter and dialogue in these places, also remembering the people of Ukraine and its ongoing conflict.
Acknowledging and praying over the many challenges we are facing today, the Pope underscored that “hope prevails”, a child is born, who is the Word of God. May we “learn to listen to God, our Father, to listen to one another and to dialogue as brothers and sisters,” he concluded, and ask the Lord to “teach us” to walk beside Him “on the paths of peace.”