VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the homily John Paul II gave today during the Mass that he presided over on the solemnity of Mary Mother of God. It also marked World Day of Peace, whose theme was “Do Not Be Overcome by Evil, but Overcome Evil With Good.”
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1. “Hail, holy Mother! The child to whom you gave birth is the King of heaven and earth for ever” (Entrance Antiphon).
On the first day of the year, the Church is recollected in prayer before the image of the Mother of God and honors with joy the one who gave to the world the fruit of her womb, Jesus, the “prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:5).
2. It is already a consolidated tradition to celebrate on this same day the World Day of Peace. With this motive, I present with joy my fervent desires to the distinguished ambassadors of the diplomatic corps to the Holy See. I direct a special greeting to the ambassadors of the countries particularly hard hit in these days by the enormous cataclysm that befell them.
My thought is also directed with gratitude to the members of the Secretariat of State, guided by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, as well as the members of the Council for Justice and Peace, and in particular its president, Cardinal Renato Martino.
3. The World Day of Peace constitutes an invitation to Christians and to all people of good will to renew their determined commitment to build peace. This supposes the welcoming of a fundamental moral demand, well expressed in the words of St. Paul: “Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
In the face of the many manifestations of evil, which unfortunately afflict the human family, the high-priority demand is to promote peace, using consistent means, giving importance to dialogue, to works of justice, and educating in forgiveness (cf. Message for World Day of Peace 2005, 1).
4. Conquering evil with the weapons of love transforms the way in which each one can contribute to the peace of all. Christians and believers of diverse religions are called to walk this path, together with those who accept the universal moral law.
Beloved brothers and sisters, promoting peace in the world is our common mission!
May the Virgin Mary help us to carry out the words of the Lord, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
[Translation by ZENIT]