|Children at St. Francis Catholic Church, Aleppo, Syria,|
During this season of Advent, it is essential to never forget that Jesus, who as a child was so small and vulnerable, utterly powerless in all of the ways that the world judges power and might, is the Light of the world that the darkness can never overcome. He is the Prince of Peace who has overcome the power of sin and death and darkness forever. He invites us to be light in the darkness as well.
All of us, men and women and boys and girls, people of faith and people of good will, have an indispensible part in dispelling the darkness.
A powerful reminder of this is the example of the Latin-rite Catholic parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Aleppo, Syria which has dedicated their children’s Mass each month to prayer for peace – peace in Aleppo, in Syria and throughout the region. The children bring up candles at the beginning of Mass and pray together the Prayer of St. Francis.
Earlier this week the Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans, who, among their other responsibilities, oversee the churches and shrines in the Holy Land) invited Catholics and other Christians to follow the example of this parish in Aleppo and pray on the first Sunday of each month for peace, preferably at the children’s Mass (or the mass frequented by the most families with children.)
At the Cathedral in Juneau, we're taking up this invitation this Sunday at the 11:00am Mass(which is the Mass that most families with children attend).
Join us if you can!
If that's not possible, please pray the Prayer of St. Francis in union with children and their families, in Aleppo, in Syria and around the world, who long for peace throughout the world and for an end to war, especially in Syria and the Middle East,
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying
that we are born to Eternal Life.