Pope says Christians look to new year with hope, commitment to peace
Published: January 3, 2012
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians should look toward the New Year with hope and a commitment to working for justice and peace, Pope Benedict XVI said. "God is love, he is just and peaceable, and anyone wishing to honor him must first of all act like a child following his father's example," the pope said Jan. 1 during a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God and World Peace Day. The pope ended 2011 by celebrating an evening prayer service Dec. 31 in the basilica and offering God thanks for the past year. The next morning, he celebrated Mass in St. Peter's and recited the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square. He told the crowd in the square that thanks to Mary's openness to God's will, "the true light that illuminates every human being appeared and the path to peace was reopened. I invite all of you to join me in praying earnestly for peace throughout the world, for reconciliation and forgiveness in areas of conflict, and for a more just and equitable distribution of the world's resources," he said. Earlier, during his homily at Mass, the pope said Jesus' birth changed human history, filling it with hope and promise. "He is the mercy and the peace that the world, of itself, cannot give, and which it needs at least as much as bread," the pope said. For World Peace Day 2012, Pope Benedict focused on the theme of educating young people in justice and peace. "In the face of the shadows that obscure the horizons of today's world, to assume responsibility for educating young people in knowledge of the truth, in fundamental values and virtues, is to look to the future with hope," the pope said.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .