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2012
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Solemnity of the Mother of God

The way in which the shepherds return to their flock, after the had seen and been a part of the events and in the welcome surrounding the birth of the Son of God, expresses the two-fold manner of our standing before the same events: having heard and having seen.

At the close of the calendar year, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God is celebrated, beginning with First Vespers, in which we are confronted with gratitude for the past year, as well as the need for the novelty that the New Year brings.

The witness of what we have heard and seen this year becomes a Te Deum of thanksgiving for all that the Lord has given us. Despite economic downturns as a result of the malice of men, the divisions that obscure peace and harmony, selfishness that is closed to the Spirit that God wants to give us – despite all, the heart beats with gratitude for the time spent and the gifts received.

But looking at our past cannot distract us from the present, our today, that even in the turning of the year, we are reminded of our responsibilities, which become for us a harbinger of renewed commitment of a life lived in suffering, but also in the certainty of that presence, which is our salvation!

The past, the present, the future. The New Year opens the door that, inherent in it, is the promise of something different and new, to accept and to build. In this land, holy and contested, blessed and divided, mystical and concretely historical, the cry of hope for the new year can only be one: before all else, peace!

In a very significant way we are faced with this word from the beginning to the end in the Gospels (cf. Lk 2:14, Jn 20:19) in order to remind us that life in Christ is to have peace not as a commitment to be pursued and to fed as if it were human, not a search for a difficult and slender balance tied to recognized organizations, but the peace of the believer who accepts the hand of God and begins the New Year with a renewed profession of faith in the historical God, who was a peaceful man: to bear witness, to give, to live.

Best wishes for a New Year in which one believes (faith) in peace (presence of Christ)!

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