It seems that barely a day goes by that we don't hear of another "trouble spot" in our world. Whether it's a new rash of attacks or an old conflict that rears its ugly head, people seem to be finding more ways to bring destruction to those around them. Seasons come and go, the calendar moves on, and the outlook can seem so bleak. How we long for some good news!
As Christians, we know we have what the world needs -- the Good News! Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, came to bring good news. What He needs now in the world are messengers -- you and me -- to help deliver it to those most in need.
Every day, missionaries bring the message of His love and peace to the hungry, the homeless, the sick, and the unloved, sometimes at great personal risk. With support from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, people in the missions who may otherwise never know the peace of a Silent Night are at this very moment being prepared for the coming of our Savior. We thank the missionaries who bring the Christmas story to life with their everyday faith-filled examples.
In the country of South Sudan, after many years of civil war, an uneasy truce hangs in the air. Catholics there are determined to live their faith. An empty cotton factory with just two brick walls, (the others are thatched) has been converted into the local church in a village in the Archdiocese of Juba. The old church is unusable -- the land surrounding it is riddled with land mines leftover from the conflict. Their Young Adult leadership meets weekly to prepare for the holidays and beyond -- faith formation of their youth is a priority. Though they have no physical classrooms, they meet under trees, sitting on the old spools from the cotton factory to listen and the Good News.
As we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, I ask you to help us send more messengers of peace into our world -- more missionaries -- to proclaim the Good News to those who are in most need of it. First and foremost, please pray daily for missionaries who put themselves in harm's way so that Christ's peace can spread throughout our troubled world. I also ask you to sacrifice as generously as your means allow so that The Society for the Propagation of the Faith may continue to support missionaries everywhere.
Merry Christmas and God Love You!
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.