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Dominican Month for Peace
First Sunday of Advent

Dominican Month of Peace

December l, 2018

You might remember that last year, the Master General of the Dominican Order proposed that every December, all over the world, wherever there were Dominican men or women, be a Dominican Month for Peace, in order to promote a global solidarity with our brothers and sisters ,who are trying to bring hope in situations of violence and war. We here at the Villa had one of our sisters give a short reflection on peace before our Liturgy at each of the 4 Saturdays of Advent.  Our focus last year was on Columbia.  There was a positive global response to the request and so we are asked again this Advent to dedicate the month of December to praying for peace. 

This year the focus of our prayer will be on the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The people of this country have been living through decades of devastating wars with ongoing massacres and human rights violations perpetrated by government forces and scores of opposing armed groups, who along with many foreign powers and companies, are scrambling to extract the rich natural resources of this country.

In this seemingly hopeless context, where millions of people are rendered extremely vulnerable, our Dominican brothers and sisters are trying to bring hope, by strengthening the capacity of the people to become agents of sustainable development and peace.  In this 2018 month for Peace, therefore, we hope that the whole order will find ways to encourage and support them in these valuable efforts. 

We know that we here, who come to Mass on Saturday afternoon, can do this by praying for them and becoming aware of what goes on in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  I learned a lot just Googling up the area and reading some of the articles describing the situation in that area.  Sometimes you will see articles about the area in our local newspaper…Just to become aware of the country and what is happening there, helps us to pray for peace in that part of the world.  Ceil again this Advent, has invited 4 of us to reflect with you each Saturday in Advent, a few minutes before our Liturgy starts.

I will now read to you, the first Reading of our Liturgy today from Jeremiah. 

Democratic Republic of Congo has had years of devastation and pain, and always it must seem hopeless.  But it is our faith and belief that God will provide and will succeed, that keeps the people going and the men and women ministering to them to keep going.

Jeremiah’s words are of hope. Hope of the coming of the righteous one, the branch of David. Jeremiah was, however, writing in a time of despair. Jerusalem was about to be overrun by the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar, with bodies in the streets and imminent doom. The worst had not yet happened, but Jeremiah’s prophecy looks like it is coming true. And yet, he writes these words of hope in the face of history. New life, a new branch for David (or shoot of Jesse in Isaiah) is coming. We read these words in the light of Christ as the messianic hope – building hope from wounded lives and lands, from wounded histories.

So our task this Advent will be to pray for peace for this country, for the people and ministers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to educate ourselves in the situation there, and finally to spread the word, to teach others,  so that this country,  far away from us,  will become real to us and a part of the “Village” that with technology, our world has become today. 

Adrian Dover OP

Dec. 1, 2018



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