Merry Christmas, Artisans of Peace.

Dears,

on the eve of Christmas, with these few lines, I would like to join you to thank you for the service you give every day and to wish you and your dear Fullness of Life and Peace of the heart.

Our beloved Pope Francis, on the occasion of the Message for the 52nd World Day of Peace 2019, which will be celebrated on January 1st, invites us all to be Proclaimers of Peace, which is not only “absence of war and disputes”, but above all “Integrity and fullness of life”. Indeed, the Jewish Shalom, rather than a simple wish for an ideal and future peace, is instead a wish for the full realization of God’s plan for the life of each one of us.

Christmas reminds us of this mystery every year: God, in Jesus, returns to give full meaning to our life, to show us mercy as the only way, to reset our crazed software, free ourselves from the virus of selfishness and fear … and give us a new chance to start again! He knows how difficult life can sometimes be and how unprepared we can be to face the most painful and complex aspects of it, yet today God is back to assuring us of his support and his company.

The Christians – Pope Francis reminds us – are called to bring peace to the world by taking responsibility for «political commitment» in everyday life, making us tutors and promoters of the common good, of processes of communion, of disarming social relations. We can do it only starting from the readiness to listen to the men and women of today, from the honesty to call «Evil» the Evil and «Good» the Good, to desire the Good for all, to opt for personal and unconditional choices of coherence.

Building Peace is not easy, we know: it requires the courage to accept the risk of trusting the other who betray us, disappoint us, harm us. Yet it is necessary to return to trust one another, because only by cultivating open and trusting relationships we will be able to recover the Hope of a full life.

I therefore close with the wish that this Christmas can really bring Peace: in ourselves, in our relationships and in our relationship with Creation that has been entrusted to us in custody. Peace is a craft work, made up of small but determined steps. Just in these days we have launched the #iononspreco campaign through the production of 10 magnets that call for a concrete commitment to avoid waste. We all have the task of supporting it and spreading it as we can.

Merry Christmas to all of you, Artisans of Peace, and thanks again for what you do and who you are!

God bless you.

Valerio