Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
2 Jan 2017
After hearing the news of the first terrorist attack of the year the pope dedicated words of consolation to the victims and their families.
"I ask the Lord to support all people of good will who courageously roll up their sleeves to face the plague of terrorism and the bloody stain that envelops the world with a shadow of fear."
For the past 50 years every January 1, the Church celebrates the World Day of Peace. Minutes before the celebratory Mass began, Pope Francis stated that the world must combat the corrosive disease of selfishness by imitating the example of the mothers of those who suffer the most. He said they are the final hope for the abandoned.
"A society without mothers would not only be a cold society, but a society that has lost its heart, lost the 'feeling of home.' I have learned much from those mothers whose children are in prison, or lying in hospital beds, or addicted to drugs; yet, come cold or heat, rain or drought, never stop fighting for what is best for them."
In order to recover the ability to sympathize with the other, to overcome indifference, the world must regain the mother's gaze. This was the first message of the year, a message where, once again, the Argentine pope, put the family at the centre of his preaching.