Last week, I was rushing to get out the door for Midnight Mass (which for some inexplicable reason was being celebrated at 9:00 p.m.). As I looking for my car keys, I heard an NPR reporter reading a snippet of Pope Benedict’s homily from the Midnight Mass at the Vatican. Later, I wished I’d chosen to be late and listened more closely, because the homily I did hear could have used a little more work. Fortunately, Whispers in the Logia reprinted the whole thing. The portion I heard on NPR is copied below, and you can click here to read the rest.
May the many people who continue to dwell in darkness and the shadow of death come to know the power of God’s saving grace! May the divine Light of Bethlehem radiate throughout the Holy Land, where the horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians. May it spread throughout Lebanon, Iraq and the whole Middle East. May it bring forth rich fruit from the efforts of all those who, rather than resigning themselves to the twisted logic of conflict and violence, prefer instead the path of dialogue and negotiation as the means of resolving tensions within each country and finding just and lasting solutions to the conflicts troubling the region. This light, which brings transformation and renewal, is besought by the people of Zimbabwe, in Africa, trapped for all too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening, as well as the men and women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the war-torn region of Kivu, Darfur, in Sudan, and Somalia, whose interminable sufferings are the tragic consequence of the lack of stability and peace. This light is awaited especially by the children living in those countries, and the children of all countries experiencing troubles, so that their future can once more be filled with hope.