Commentary on the Reading of the day provided by:
Saint John-Paul II,
Pope from 1978 to 2005
Message for the World Day of Peace 2002, § 14-15
(SOURCE: Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
“My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you”
Prayer for peace is not an afterthought to the work of peace.
It is of the very essence of building the peace of order, justice, and freedom.
To pray for peace is to open the human heart to the inroads of God’s power to renew all things.
With the life-giving force of his grace, God can create openings for peace where only obstacles and closures are apparent… To pray for peace is to pray for justice…
To pray for peace is to pray for justice, for a right-ordering of relations within and among nations and peoples.
It is to pray for freedom, especially for the religious freedom that is a basic human and civil right of every individual.
To pray for peace is to seek God’s forgiveness, and to implore the courage to forgive those who have trespassed against us.
No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: this is what in this Message I wish to say to believers and non-believers alike, to all men and women of good will who are concerned for the good of the human family and for its future.
No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: this is what I wish to say to those responsible for the future of the human community, entreating them to be guided in their weighty and difficult decisions by the light of man’s true good, always with a view to the common good.
No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: I shall not tire of repeating this warning to those who, for one reason or another, nourish feelings of hatred, a desire for revenge or the will to destroy.
…May a more intense prayer rise from the hearts of all believers for the victims of terrorism, for their families so tragically stricken, for all the peoples who continue to be hurt and convulsed by terrorism and war.
May the light of our prayer extend even to those who gravely offend God and man by these pitiless acts, that they may look into their hearts, see the evil of what they do, abandon all violent intentions, and seek forgiveness.
In these troubled times, may the whole human family find true and lasting peace, born of the marriage of justice and mercy!