Omran, Angels Are Here! Painting By Judith Mehr
By Henrita Frost, SSND
Many of us know this five year old child, Omran Daqneesh. In September 2016, he was pulled from the rubble of his bombed-out home in Aleppo. We visited him when he was sitting in an ambulance covered with dust and his face blood covered waiting to be helped. He has become an image of Aleppo’s suffering. The image of this homeless child has stayed with us.
Beginning Christmas Eve, we have visited another child, the Christ child, whose mother “wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn” for he too was homeless.
Angels sang at his birth, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests”. It has been 2016 years since the Christ child’s birth and there is still no peace on earth. Everyday our heart’s become heavier and we ask what are we to do? The Christ child has shown us the path to peace.
Pope Francis’s message for January 1, 2017, the fiftieth World Day of Peace dedicated to Nonviolence calls us to be Peacemakers. The following are Pope Francis’ closing words to his message:
“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. “Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace”.
Please note: January 1 is World Peace Day. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. During January let us send Compassion to those who are victims of slavery and human trafficking.