Religious freedom, the path to peace

Solemnity of Mary, mother of God
cycle A
Reading: Lk. 2: 16 - 21

As I grew older, the more I realize that round fruits and noise don't have any link with a brighter future except possessing a positive disposition. Unless we realize that our concrete actions account for the situation we have, our preparations for the New Year come to naught.  We need to ponder like Mary.  What exactly did she ponder on?

First, the act of pondering is very important, especially when a person is oriented to God and wishes to do His will.  Do we desire to make the Master happy?

Second, Mary pondered on the shepherds themselves and what they had to say.  Have we seen God in others, most specially the poor?  Do we listen to what others are not saying?  Do we address the needs of the poor?

Third, Mary pondered on the Christ Child on what he would be in the future.  As Jesus is the Prince of Peace, I would like to focus on the message of the Holy Father for this year:  Religious Freedom, the path to peace.

Even though the context of Pope Benedict's message is the violence done against the Church in other countries, we may apply it also to our situation where instead of reflecting on our life with God, we chose to focus on other worldly concerns.

Religious freedom highlights the dignity of persons.  The more we think of our relationship with God, the more we value life that comes from Him.

Religious freedom enables us to celebrate the uniqueness of persons with whom God communicates Himself to.  It enables us to respect and help one another.

Finally, religious freedom enables public order, development, and regard for the common good.  These are the action components of peace.  How willing are we to do these things?

These are the things we need to do to realize Jesus in our lives.  This is what we are to become in our lives: bringers of life and love to others and realizers of God's presence in the world.  We would face the New Year with renewed hopes.

Happy New Year to everyone!


  1. Anonymous10:43 PM

    The holiday season is a perfect time to examine our lives. When the harsh realities of our everyday choices confront us, we have a golden opportunity to modify our behavior and align our values. Author C. David Coates wrote an eye opening poem which, like a mirror, exposes us to truths we may not wish to see. Here is a slightly modified version of that poem.

    "Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for 'Peace on Earth.'"

    The good news is that anyone can break this cycle of violence. Each of us has the power to choose compassion. Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &


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