Dominican Month of Peace
December l, 2018
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.
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.
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
I will now read to you, the first
Reading of our Liturgy today from Jeremiah.
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