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7 Christmas Wishes Related to War and Peace 2023

7 Christmas Wishes Related to War and Peace 2023

Most recently, in a small gathering, a few friends asked me what my Christmas wishes were. I told them peace, prosperity, and unity of families centered on Jesus. I didn’t tell them that I was thinking of the big human family.

At that very moment, my thoughts were far away, centered on the wars in Gaza, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Sudan, Afghanistan, and other nations in turmoil. Indeed, “war is a massacre of people who don’t know each other for the profit of people who know each other,” a hypothesis that made Pope Francis say, “Many powerful people don’t want peace. There is more profit in war!” (May 11, 2015).

Even after the crushing fall of our First Parents, humankind had the absolute right to be preserved, so give Jesus Christ the chance to become part of it. Our planet Earth, and especially Israel, Gaza included, deserves to continue to exist if only to offer the Incarnate Son of God the occasion to walk on it, to perform His miracles, and to dwell amongst us (John 1:1–14).

In Bethlehem, 74 km from Gaza City, Mary “gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped Him in cloth and laid Him in a manger (Luke 2:6-7). Now, you kind of guess what the Israel-Gaza War, and all wars for that matter, do to Jesus; our dear Lord goes to His bedroom to weep, as it were.

 “Even today, we raise our hand against our brother... We have perfected our weapons,” lamented Pope Francis, “our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal; we continue to sow destruction, pain, and death. Violence and war lead only to death (Embracing the Way of Jesus: Reflections from Pope Francis on Living Our Faith, 2017).

Christmas Wish 1: Peace and Security for Everyone!

The Child Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born in a stable, daring to dwell with us when some of the hearts of people were filled with odium and animosity. But He knew that inside the deepest recesses of every person, created in the image of God, there is a desire for peace.

Not everyone can be a United Nations peacekeeper in Gaza, South Sudan, Congo, or Haiti, but we can all become channels of peace at home, in our parish, at school, or in our community.

A couple of months after becoming pope, seeing the senselessness of fighting, Pope Francis uttered almost in hopelessness, “War is the suicide of humanity because it kills the heart and kills love. War destroys, kills, and impoverishes.” Then he prayed aloud, “Lord, give us your peace!” (June 2, 2013).

We wish and pray that adversaries and archenemies will cease pulling the trigger, sit down with rivals, give nonviolence a chance, and advocate peaceful dialogue. We ask the Baby “wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger” to transform war into peace, sadness into joy, hatred into love, and vengeance into forgiveness so that this season will be merry and bright for everyone.

Christmas Wish 2: Deep Respect for Human Life

“Only the dead have seen the end of the war,” once wrote American philosopher George Santayana. The Holy Land, or Palestine, Gaza Strip included, and every nation at war is soaked with the blood of the lifeless victims of war.

People of goodwill can only shout the universal call for peace, for at times peace gives the impression of being quiet and subdued. No, peace is never quiet but dynamic and participative, and it can only be gained through our deep respect for human life and dignity. There’s no other way.

Hence, we all wish the “vigorous reaffirmation of the value of human life and its inviolability,” as Pope St. John Paul II once wished, “in the name of God: respect, protect, love, and serve life, every human life,” the human life considered to be God’s precious gift from conception until natural death (Evangelium Vitae, 5).

Christmas Wish 3: Sincere Apologies and Dialogues rather than Weapons of Destruction

We wish that fighters learn to sit down at one big table and dialogue, to listen without fear, and to apologize without excuses, hoping to break down walls standing between them. We pray that enemies learn the wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

 The aim of the dialogue is not to see who comes out more brilliant or more reasonable or to test the opponent’s perseverance and patience. It’s none of those. Dialogue is grounded in mutual trust. When two opposing parties decide to dialogue, they must learn to trust each other. To those who enter the door of dialogue, we pray, as Pope St. Paul VI once prayed, that their hearts “exclude pretending, enmity, deceit, and treachery” (Ecclesiam Suam, 1964).

May this Yuletide season find Jesus in everyone’s heart. “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us… and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Christmas Wish 4: Simple Celebrations in Solidarity with God’s Poor Kids

Bishop Teofilo Camomot of Carcar (1914–1988) was someone who at first desired to be a farmer nearest to Mother Nature, yet later surrendered himself to God in the Holy Priesthood and, although elevated to episcopacy, lived in Franciscan-like simplicity.

Bishop Camomot served as an auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Vidal of Cebu, who one day noticed that the former was not wearing his pectoral cross. It turned out that in his aspiration to share what little he possessed with the poor, the holy prelate pawned his pectoral cross and gave the proceeds to them.

This Christmas, we wish for simplicity, essentiality, and the avoidance of any kind of waste. For the rich and the famous, we pray that their meetings, trips abroad, dinners, receptions, and exchanges of gifts during this lovely season will not cross the border of luxury or extravagance.

We pray that what should occupy the bigger space in their hearts is mercy and compassion in solidarity with those who cannot celebrate Christmas.

Christmas Wish 5: Praxis of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

How I wish Christians everywhere would remember the Monastic Rule of Saint Benedict (AD 480–550) that articulates the one corporal work of mercy: “The care of the sick is to be placed above and before every other duty as if Christ were being directly served.”

 We pray that all of us who are well, alive, and kicking may perform one or two of the corporal works of mercy in our little way: Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked, provide shelter to the homeless, and bury the dead. When we do this, we love our neighbors as Jesus loves them.

It might be good to remind others who rely only on the three pivotal principles of Sola Scriptura (only the Bible), Sola Gratia (only grace), and Sola Fides (only faith) that “faith without good works is dead” (James 2:26). We wish that we accomplish it today, not tomorrow—not just once, but many times over and regularly by one’s capability.

Charity comes in different forms and shapes. We also wish that people of goodwill perform one or two spiritual works of mercy: admonishing the sinner, bearing wrongs patiently, counseling the doubtful, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the afflicted, and being parish volunteers and a catechist.

Christmas Wish 6: Total Recovery of the Victims of War

 “Dear Brothers and Sisters, never resort to war! Never war! I ask you with all my heart. It's time to stop. Stop it, please!” Pope Francis begged the leaders of war-ridden nations. His thoughts were focused on the hapless victims of war. “Wars shatter so many lives. I think especially of children robbed of their childhood” (The Spirit of St. Francis: Inspiring Words on Faith, Love, and Creation, 2015).

We pray, as the Holy Father prays, for all victims deprived of their dream of a better life and a decent future. We wish complete healing for children who have stopped attending school and playing with toys, young people who have stopped smiling because of the sights and sounds of guns and bombs, widows, and orphans.

We shall continue to help in whatever ways or manners we can, aiding in the full recovery of the living victims of war and the complete healing of the deep wounds of hatred.

Christmas Wish 7: Dynamic and Audacious Witnessing of the Christian Faith

When visiting Africa in 2019, Pope Francis talked heart-to-heart to his Jesuit colleagues working in Mozambique and Zimbabwe about the power of witnessing. The Holy Father reminded them of what St. Francis of Assisi told his friars: “Go out to the world and evangelize. And, if necessary, use words, too.”

Evangelization is essentially witnessing. Then Pope Francis mentioned what his holy predecessor, Benedict XVI, said in Aparecida: “The Church does not grow by proselytism; it grows by attraction, the attraction of witness.”

Indeed, a good example has a hundred times the force and impact of a good word. Then and now, the only authority that speaks with such impact is the authority of witnessing, and the only authority that is respected by all is the authority of a good example.

We wish for miracles, the ultimate triumph of goodness, and the reign of love despite all odds. As Filipinos here and abroad celebrate Simbang Gabi, we wish and pray with Prophet Isaiah for a time of genuine peace, a long life, and a smile on every face.

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat.
And the calf, the young lion, and the fattened steer will be together.
And a little boy will lead them.
Also, the cow and the bear will graze;
Their young will lie down together” (Isaiah 9:6-7).


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.