Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

Christmas marks the birth of the world's greatest peacemaker and nonviolent resister. His coming is told in political language. We hear of a kingdom that will have no end, of his lordship, of glory to God and peace on earth.

Notice, for example, that the angels do not sing, "Glory to Rome! Glory to America! Glory to empire! War on earth to all those not in the empire's good favor!" Sometimes, the culture of war would have us believe that's the Christmas message.

But no. The angels speak of glory to God, the reign of a peaceful child, the coming of peace on Earth. To celebrate Christmas is to take sides against war, poverty and empire. If we adopt the politics of Christmas, we will welcome that peaceful child and his gift of peace, which means we will join his ongoing campaign of nonviolent resistance to war and empire, his ongoing holy occupy movement.

With the nonviolent Jesus, we are saved from war, empire and death. We have been given a way out of the world's violence through his creative nonviolence, steadfast resistance, active peacemaking and universal love. And we have been taught how to live in love, grace and prayer.

As we relearn the politics of Christmas, may we recommit ourselves to his work for peace so that we can do our part in the upcoming year to help end war, poverty and injustice. Then maybe we will be able to join the heavenly multitude and sing with angelic harmony, "Glory to the God of peace!"

– John Dear
"Christmas and the End of the War in Iraq"
National Catholic Reporter
December 20, 2011

NOTE: John Dear's new book, Lazarus, Come Forth!, has just been published by Orbis Books. It explores Jesus as the God of life, calling humanity (in the symbol of the dead Lazarus) out of the tombs of the culture of war and death. This book and other recent books, including Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings; Put Down Your Sword and A Persistent Peace, are available from For more information, go to John Dear's website.

The PCV wishes all its readers
a joyful and peaceful Christmas!

See also the previous PCV posts:
Finding Christ at Christmas
Is Christmas Christian?

Image: Simon Dewey.

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