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Compassion and hope for 2008

By Jose Zepeda - posted Friday, 21 December 2007

May I say I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year 2008. I wish that the experience of the forthcoming celebrations for those of us who are Christians helps us to change our attitudes in our every day life, so that Jesus Christ uses our bodies, spirits, minds and hearts to transform the present world.

A world, which at present is experiencing suffering because there is so much cruelty and where, as a consequence of war and massacres, millions of innocent humans are suffering injustice, violent death and repression.

Let’s particularly make efforts to be engaged to end the violence and wars in the Middle East with attitudes and actions which generate peace and harmony towards each other


Many also are suffering a slow death as a result of the unjust poverty in which they live or because they have been forced to migrate in search of a place to earn a living for themselves and their families.

All they will find this Christmas and New Year will be abuse, exploitation, imprisonment and loss of their lives at the hand of many who profit from them by trafficking, or force them into prostitution, into selling their organs, enslave them into hard work or they will end in prison for trying to cross borders or will lose their lives, just because they are seeking a better life.

To bring it closer to our own cities, wherever we come from, many are dead or dying slowly as a consequence of the loss or death of their dignity; the, often experienced, loss of cultural identity; and the lack of respect for their cultural expressions of faith.

Christmas is a time to remind ourselves to be inclusive, particularly of those who are on the margins of society.

The best we can offer them, in a very practical way, is compassion and hope: the Hope given to us as God’s gift for all humanity and its surroundings. We can bring a “Jesus attitude” to them and allow ourselves to be converted by their suffering, persecution, marginalisation and exclusion.

Among these human persons is where we will find Jesus of Nazareth’s Peace, Hope and Happiness in order to have a meaningful life. Yes, the one whose birthday we are preparing to celebrate and on whom we have been spending a lot of/or some time reflecting on his life: the one who, because of our faith beliefs and convictions, tells us how to live and direct our lives.


We need to meet Jesus Christ in more concrete ways. To experience Him among the farmers who are suffering hardship: the homeless; those who are in economic hardship because of debts; those escaping persecution and war; the vulnerable who are migrating to seek better conditions for their families, often isolated and separated from their loved ones at this time; and particularly those migrant women and children who are trafficked by unscrupulous people who profit from them.

Are we prepared to offer a word of support? Do we think of visiting to give one of those refugee or migrant families a little of our own time? What about visiting an elderly person for a few minutes? Do we ever consider that, for many diverse reasons, there are many immigrants living close to us in total isolation and exclusion?

Well, friends, Jesus Christ is there among them waiting for us to show him some mercy.

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About the Author

Jose Zepeta is International Coordinator of Always People, a not for profit organisation working across all faiths and cultures committed to "people helping people" and working towards justice and peace for all. Jose has travelled extensively in his role with Always People, working in the area of human rights, justice and peace negotiations and these reflections come out of his observations and experience.

Jose is also a Consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

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All articles by Jose Zepeda

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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