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A young boy stands in the Church of Birao, northern Central African Republic. A young boy stands in the Church of Birao, northern Central African Republic.  (AFP or licensors)

Reflection: The Prince of Peace is born for us in Africa!

As the world is immersed in the joy of Christmas, some of our brothers and sisters are fleeing danger. We sometimes forget that the Prince of Peace was himself once a refugee fleeing danger.

Fr Enobong Udoidiong – Rome, Italy.

On that cold winter night, the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to her Son, Jesus Christ, and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Though God and King of the Universe, he came into our world without the pomp and pageantry accompanying the birth of royals.

The Son of God was a refugee

While the whole world is engulfed in the joy of the season, it is a sobering thought to know that some parts of our world are engulfed in violence and war.  For example, in the Sahel, marauding gangs are fanning the embers of war and causing suffering and devastation. Through no fault of their own, ordinary villagers are forced away from their lands. May they take comfort in knowing that the Son of God was himself forced to flee into exile. May they also know peace in their lifetime.

Pope Francis’ 2022 message for peace

Aware of the world situation, Pope Francis, in his 2022 World Day of Peace message, has called upon leaders of the world to spend more on education and less on weapons.

“It is high time, then, that governments develop economic policies aimed at inverting the proportion of public funds spent on education and on weaponry. The pursuit of a genuine process of international disarmament can only prove beneficial for the development of peoples and nations, freeing up financial resources better used for health care, schools, infrastructure, care of the land and so forth,” said Pope Francis.

The Pope’s message, usually sent to presidents and heads of state worldwide, invites the world to build and work towards a more peaceful world that starts within our hearts.

A peaceful world starts with you, and I

Everyone who welcomes the birth of Christ has one thing in common: Peace. Since a peaceful world starts within our hearts, Christmas invites all of us to rejoice in the Lord because true peace has come down to us from heaven. Imagine what it would be like if everyone made a sincere effort to promote peace wherever they are?

Every Christian in this Christmas season has one crucial commitment: To make visible the peace that the birth of Christ brought to our world. We should not just celebrate the birth of Christ with exterior decorations that adorn our houses and streets when our hearts are filled with hostility and corruption. We should, instead, be conscious of the very thing that our community, our African continent needs the most -peace!

This peace can only be achieved when we all identify ourselves with the mission of Christ as the Prince of Peace.

Peace be with you!

24 December 2021, 19:27