Another New Year is at the threshold of the world.
In parts of the world, people will exuberantly greet one another, “Happy New Year!” To those in conflict zones and senseless wars, it is a challenge “to ring out the old and ring in the new dawn” of hope. To many, Ukraine might come to mind, as suffering from what Pope Francis poignantly called, the “famine of peace.”
But the Pope also points out a grave famine of peace in other regions and other theaters of this Third World War. He singled out conflicts and humanitarian crises in the Middle East, Myanmar, Haiti, and the Sahel region of Africa. Yes, the compassionate heart of Pope Francis, is moved by every tear of innocent suffering. He has consistently mentioned Myanmar in every plea for peace.
What can be the new hope to our people in Myanmar at the dawn of the New Year?
The interlude of peace of the last decade evaporated overnight. Do our graceful people deserve the fate that fell on them?
Christmas message was not just Christmas trees, lights, Santa Claus and shopping malls. The Christmas of the Bible is different. It is about a poor family harassed; it is about the powerlessness of simple people. The Christmas week also remembers the massacre of innocent children perpetrated by an angry Herod.
True, parts of our world today, gasp with horror and revulsion at school destruction, wars, and abuse that take the lives of our babies, children and youth. The famine of peace is real, strangling all hope.