“May we be in this world a ray of that light which shone forth from Bethlehem, bringing joy and peace to the hearts of all men and women.” – Pope Francis
The second candle on the Advent wreath represents Peace. Like the first candle, it is also purple. Often called the “Bethlehem Candle,” the second Advent candle reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem before Mary gave birth to Jesus. Building on the meaning of the Prophecy Candle, this second candle recalls that after all of the division, destruction, and dispersion of the kingdom in the Old Testament, there might finally be peace on Earth – Jesus is coming, and so is his Kingdom of Peace. As we read in the quote from Pope Francis, this light of peace shone forth from Bethlehem for all the world. This Advent, light the second candle on Sunday, December 4, 2022. (https://hallow.com/blog/advent-candles-and-advent-wreaths/)
As we meditate and reflect on Mary’s journey before the birth of Jesus, I pray we all find peace within our hearts. Peace springs from within each of us. It is this light within us that reaches to the people around us.
At the beginning of the Catholic Church’s day of prayer for peace in Ukraine, Pope Francis made an earnest appeal to those in power: “Please, no more war.”
“I invite you to pray for peace in Ukraine and to do so often throughout this day,” the pope said at the end of his general audience on Jan. 26.
“Let us ask the Lord insistently that this land may see fraternity flourish and overcome wounds, fears, and divisions.”
The pope urged people not to forget the more than five million people who died in Ukraine during World War II.
“Think that more than five million were annihilated during the time of the last war. They are a suffering people; they have suffered hunger, they have suffered so much cruelty and they deserve peace,” Francis said.
“May the prayers and invocations that are being raised to heaven today touch the minds and hearts of those in positions of authority on earth, so that dialogue may prevail and the good of all be put before the interests of one side. Please, no more war.”
Pope Francis called for Jan. 26 to be a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine during his Angelus address last Sunday amid fears of a potential deeper Russian incursion into the Eastern European country.
Let each of us take the time today to pray and fast (giving up something today) for world peace . Let us each especially pray for the situation in the Ukraine.