|JANUARY 1, 2015|
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič's Message to the Faithful
for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
and World Day of Peace
ę BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL Ľ
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we begin a new calendar year, the Church celebrates the great mystery of the arrival of the promised Saviour who is Christ the Lord, born of the Virgin Mary. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us ""God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary" (CCC 488). The Incarnation of the Son of God came about thanks to the humble faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who by accepting Godís will and his plan of salvation, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Maryís obedience to the Lordís plan resulted in her not losing anything, but gaining more than she could have ever dreamed of, for by her adherence she became the Mother of God and confirmed that all generations will called me blessed (Lk 1:48). Due to Maryís trust in the Lord, the Son of God came into the world so that he could save mankind from its slavery to sin and all evil.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his annual Message for the World Day of Prayer for Peace for 1 January this year, places great emphasis on the human suffering that is spreading in the world in the various forms of slavery. "I urgently appeal to all men and women of good will, and all those near or far, including the highest levels of civil institutions, who witness the scourge of contemporary slavery, not to become accomplices to this evil, not to turn away from the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, who are deprived of their freedom and dignity. Instead, may we have the courage to touch the suffering flesh of Christ, revealed in the faces of those countless persons whom he calls "the least of these my brethren" (Mt 25:40, 45)". (Message N.6)
During the course of the New Year, may we make a new resolution of faith to never turn away from the Lord nor from one another, especially not from our brothers and sisters who are suffering any form of enslavement or the effects of evil and sin. May the Blessed Virgin Maryís example of humble and trusting faith be an inspiration for us, so that we may become instruments of the Lordís care towards one other, especially those suffering and in need. Then we too will be able to count ourselves amongst Godís chosen ones, blessed for having believed and for seeking to fulfill his will in our lives.
Upon all of you who will read this message and share it with others, I gladly impart my Apostolic blessing and wish you a New Year of blessings and peace.
Titular Archbishop of Sarsenterum
Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Peninsula
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič's Biography and Pastoral Messages
H.G. Archbishop Petar's Homilies for Sundays and Solemnities