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Any resemblance with the reality is mere coincidence

This Sunday, the Gospel presents us with the origin of that chilling event that we celebrate on December 28, the death of the innocent. Everything happens because of Herod, a king with 'power' and because he is afraid of losing it, he will want to defend it at all costs. Herod is the typical chameleon politician who confronts the magicians who come from the east to find the king of the Jews.

The fundamental question on this day is:

What mask do we put on when we feel vulnerable?

How far are we capable of reaching, guided by our wounds that betray and dominate us? 

On one side are the magicians, in Greekμάγος, although it is not the same concept that today we give to magicians as conjurers, but rather in the Middle Eastern environment it is the name given to wise men and chiefs, even soldiers, in the East for their intelligence, their wisdom, their strategies.

These main men ask for information as soon as the star has disappeared and when they see the star that precedes them again, they follow it until it stops at the place where the child was. Upon seeing the star, they were filled with great and immense joy, the Greek text uses two words to express this great joy, perhaps only one would have been necessary: χαρὰν μεγάλην σφόδρα harán megalen sfódra, that is, a greatly great joy, it is a style like our Mexican and especially the style of Guadalajara that we love to say: "very much", not to say "laugh very happy", is actually a confirmatory way to say that this joy was really great when they saw the star, when they contemplated the child and the mother and were able to discover in them the intuition they had received through the star. 

They offer him their gifts brought from the east, gold, incense, myrrh, metals and spices considered valuable and essential for a king. But the drama of the scene is above all that King Herod, being a Jew, does not recognize the king of the Jews while these wise men and oriental chiefs are not Jews and were able to recognize in the child and his mother the king to whom they owe his best gifts. Having prostrated themselves and adored the child and having been warned not to return from Herod, they returned to their countries of origin.

There are saints who are striking today because of their incredible similarity to the Lord, like Francisco de Asis, like Padre Pio and like those who have even received the stigmata of Jesus and who are like those principales of the East who are not afraid to follow the star that guides them. as long as they are like Jesus or at least look a little like him. They prostrate themselves, adore him, and offer him all that they are and have.

What do I have that I can offer you today? He does not ask me for anything, what could he need from me if he is God? He only wants one thing that I can overflow with happiness by hugging the child and contemplating his mother.

But the text at the beginning tells us about Herod, on whom I would like to dwell a bit because the text gives us important clues to better understand the event and to let us question him. The text presents what was the origin of Herod's fury for which he ordered the children of Bethlehem to be killed. It is the Greek verb tarásso,ταράσσω, what does it meanto become restless, to have such a conflict within oneself, to the point of being at risk of losing control and this word can be one of the key pieces to read the gospel.

Above all, it helps us to question ourselves: what makes me conflict within myself? what situations worry me, tarássoταράσσω, to the point of almost losing control or have even led me to lose it? Let's not be afraid to recognize our blind spots because the more aware we are of them, the more we will be able to master them and not be dominated by them.

A single question from three strangers was enough for Herod to unleash his restlessness in intrigues, he moves all Jerusalem to be restless too, he gathers the wise men of the kingdom to make them read and interpret the sacred scriptures and even believes what they say, but what they say What interests him is achieving his own ends and petty interests: narrowing the search field and finding the 'new king' to destroy him, since anyone who tries to occupy his position will be annihilated without regard, even if innocents have to die for it. In fact, we know that the straw that broke the camel's back in Herod's fury was that he "felt mocked" by the magicians who did not return to tell him where they found the child, he felt "so vulnerable" in front of the "new king" that Herod will unleash his fury against the innocents of Bethlehem.

Our past wounds, those that others or ourselves cause become double-edged weapons, our insecurities, our fears or terrors, our feelings sometimes condemn us... it all depends, it depends on how much we cry because they dominate us and beat us battles, but it depends on how much we allow Christ to win the war, with our clear awareness of poverty, powerlessness, humble request for help from him and who can give us a hand when we really want to get out of the mud in which we find ourselves trapped as Herod.

In fact, John the Baptist, already an adult, years later, tried to get Herod out of that mud but he did not want to. What will we do before the signs from heaven that continually appear to us? Will our wounds or even our sins blind us or will we let ourselves be guided by the stars and signs sent from heaven, the prophets, the wise men from the East, the Baptists who appear to us sent by God to make us enter into the blissful glory of the Children of God, of the magicians who prostrate themselves, adore, offer themselves and leave full of happiness?

Herod is a vulnerable person and he is in a vulnerable situation so much so that his internal and external politics, his way of governing, serve only to defend his position. Its internal policy is authoritarian, but without authority, it is terror, it is submission and blind obedience. His foreign policy is nothing but a hypocritical diplomatic speech with purely selfish ends, to stay on the throne that Rome has given him, and that have nothing to do with the common good.

In his government, as in ours today, he is willing to use whatever trick he can to stay in power even if he loses control. Psychologically it could even be outlined as a psychopath. But it is obvious that any resemblance to reality is mere coincidence, that happened in a place of mere fiction that has nothing to do with the reality of our world... 

On the one hand we have King Herod and on the other we have the main ones from the East, both faced with surprising news, the new king, Jesus, is among them and the reactions and politics are completely different. One wants to make disappear any trace of one who wants to supplant him, while the others prostrate themselves, adore him and offer him their gifts.

Today we all do politics but not all of us make politics an instrument for the common good, for the defense of the weak. Today weakness becomes a political instrument for nationalism, populism, ideologies and leads to the cruelest manipulations of conscience and life. We are all politicians but it is in our hands to decide what kind of politics we want to carry out in our daily relations and in our ordinary life. But this does not depend on our mere goodwill, which is weak and variable with the changes in season... this depends on how good we are about ourselves, our objectives and goals, and above all, being able to have half an hour a day for ourselves and rethink where I am directing my life and if we are believers, confront him with the Lord because the goal is clear to be myself inspired by him my true image.

The Holy Father Francisco, just a few days ago, made public the message for the celebration of the 52nd World Day of Peace, this January 1, 2019. I would like us to be able to read it calmly together with this evangelical framework, since the Pope tells us recommends a fundamental thing for politics today, it is the very title of the message:"Good politics is at the service of peace." The message speaks for itself, which is why I do not want to explain it, but simply that we savor it and allow ourselves to be questioned because at the end of the day, as the Pope reminded us at the angelus on January 1, 2019:

"Let's not think that politics is reserved only for rulers:

we are all responsible for the life of the city, for the common good;

and politics is also good to the extent that everyone does their part in the service of peace.

May the Holy Mother of God help us in this daily commitment."

Message from Pope Francis for the 52nd World Day of Peace.

"Good politics is at the service of peace"

1. “Peace to this house”

Jesus, when sending his disciples on a mission, told them: «When you enter a house, say first: “Peace to this house”. And if there are people of peace there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you» (Lk 10,5-6). Giving peace is at the center of the mission of the disciples of Christ. And this offer is addressed to all men and women who hope for peace in the midst of the tragedies and violence of human history [Lk 2,14]. The "house" mentioned by Jesus is each family, each community, each country, each continent, with its own characteristics and with its history; it is above all each person, without distinction or discrimination. It is also our “common home”: the planet on which God has placed us to live and to which we are called to care with interest. Therefore, this is also my wish at the beginning of the new year: “Peace to this house”.

2. The challenge of a good policy

Peace is like the hope of which the poet Charles Péguy speaks; it is like a fragile flower that tries to flourish among the stones of violence. We know well that the search for power at any cost leads to abuse and injustice. Politics is a fundamental vehicle for building citizenship and human activity, but when those who dedicate themselves to it do not experience it as a service to the human community, it can become an instrument of oppression, marginalization, and even destruction.

Jesus says: "Whoever wants to be first, let him be last of all and the servant of all" (Mc 9,35). As Pope Saint Paul VI underlined: «Taking politics seriously at its various levels -local, regional, national and world- is to affirm the duty of each person, of every person, to know what the content and value of the option that is presented to you and according to which you seek to collectively achieve the good of the city, of the nation, of humanity”.

Indeed, political role and responsibility constitute a permanent challenge for all those who receive the mandate to serve their country, to protect all who live in it, and to work to create the conditions for a dignified and just future. Politics, if carried out with fundamental respect for life, liberty and the dignity of people, can truly become an eminent form of charity.

3. Charity and human virtues for a policy at the service of human rights and peace

Pope Benedict XVI recalled that “every Christian is called to this charity, according to his vocation and his possibilities of influencing the polis. […] Commitment to the common good, when inspired by charity, has a higher value than merely secular and political commitment. […] The action of man on earth, when inspired and sustained by charity, contributes to the building of that universal city of God towards which the history of the human family advances». It is a program that can be agreed upon by all politicians, of whatever cultural or religious background, who wish to work together for the good of the human family, practicing those human virtues that are the basis of good political action: justice, fairness, mutual respect, sincerity, honesty, fidelity.

In this regard, it is worth remembering the "beatitudes of the politician", proposed by the Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Vãn Thuận, who died in 2002, and who was a faithful witness to the Gospel:

Blessed is the politician who has a high regard and a deep awareness of his role.

Blessed is the politician whose person reflects credibility.

Blessed is the politician who works for the common good and not for his own interest.

Blessed is the politician who remains faithfully consistent.

Blessed is the politician who achieves unity.

Blessed is the politician who is committed to bringing about radical change.

Blessed is the politician who knows how to listen.

Blessed is the politician who is not afraid.

Each renewal of elective functions, each electoral appointment, each stage of public life is an opportunity to return to the source and reference points that inspire justice and law. We are convinced that good politics is at the service of peace; respects and promotes fundamental human rights, which are equally reciprocal duties, so that a bond of trust and gratitude is created between present and future generations.

4. The vices of politics

Unfortunately, in politics, along with the virtues, there are also vices, due both to personal ineptitude and to distortions in the environment and institutions. It is evident to all that the vices of political life undermine the credibility of the systems in which it is exercised, as well as the authority, decisions and actions of the people who dedicate themselves to it. These vices, which undermine the ideal of authentic democracy, are the shame of public life and endanger social peace: corruption —in its multiple forms of misappropriation of public goods or taking advantage of people—, the denial of of law, non-compliance with community norms, illegal enrichment, justification of power through force or under the arbitrary pretext of "reason of State", the tendency to perpetuate oneself in power, xenophobia and racism, rejection the care of the Earth, the unlimited exploitation of natural resources for immediate benefit, the contempt of those who have been forced to go into exile.

5. Good politics promotes the participation of young people and trust in others

When the exercise of political power aims solely to protect the interests of certain privileged individuals, the future is in danger and young people can be tempted by distrust, because they are condemned to remain on the margins of society, without the possibility of participating in a project for the future. On the other hand, when politics is translated, concretely, into the encouragement of young talents and vocations that want to be fulfilled, peace spreads in the consciences and on the faces. A dynamic trust is reached, which means "I trust you and I believe with you" in the possibility of working together for the common good. Politics favors peace if it is carried out, therefore, recognizing the charisms and capacities of each person. «Is there anything more beautiful than an outstretched hand? This has been willed by God to give and receive. God did not want her to kill (cf. Gn 4,1ff) or to make her suffer, but rather to care for and help to live. Together with the heart and the mind, the hand can also become an instrument of dialogue».

Each one can contribute his own stone for the construction of the common house. Authentic political life, founded on law and on a loyal dialogue between the protagonists, is renewed with the conviction that each woman, each man and each generation contain within themselves a promise that can release new relational, intellectual, cultural and spiritual. Such trust is never easy to achieve because human relationships are complex. In particular, we live in these times in a climate of mistrust that is rooted in fear of the other or of the stranger, in the anxiety of losing personal benefits and, unfortunately, it is also manifested at the political level, through attitudes of closure or nationalisms that call into question the fraternity that our globalized world so needs. Today more than ever, our societies need "artisans of peace" who can be authentic messengers and witnesses of God the Father who wants the good and happiness of the human family.

6. No to war or the strategy of fear

One hundred years after the end of the First World War, and with the memory of the young men who fell during those combats and the devastated civilian populations, we know better than ever the terrible lesson of fratricidal wars, that is, that peace can never be reduced to the simple balance of strength and fear. Keeping the other under threat means reducing him to the status of an object and denying him dignity. It is the reason why we reaffirm that the increase in intimidation, as well as the uncontrolled proliferation of weapons, are contrary to morality and the search for true harmony. The terror exerted on the most vulnerable people contributes to the exile of entire populations in search of a land of peace.

Political discourses that tend to blame migrants for all ills and deprive the poor of hope are not acceptable. Instead, it should be emphasized that peace is based on respect for each person, regardless of their history, on respect for the law and the common good, for the creation entrusted to us and for the moral richness handed down by past generations. .

Likewise, our thought is directed in a particular way to children who live in conflict zones, and to all those who make an effort so that their lives and their rights are protected. Around the world, one in six children suffers from the violence of war and its consequences, and is even recruited to become a soldier or hostage to armed groups. The testimony of those who are committed to defending the dignity and respect of children is extremely precious for the future of humanity.

7. A great peace project

These days we celebrate the seventy years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted after the second world conflict. In this regard, we recall the observation of Pope Saint John XXIII: «When in a man the awareness of his own rights arises, it is necessary that that of his own obligations also emerge; so that those who possess certain rights also have, as an expression of their dignity, the obligation to demand them, while others have the duty to recognize and respect them».

Peace, indeed, is the fruit of a great political project that is based on the reciprocal responsibility and interdependence of human beings, but it is also a challenge that demands to be accepted day after day. Peace is a conversion of heart and soul, and it is easy to recognize three inseparable dimensions of this interior and community peace:

— peace with ourselves, rejecting intransigence, anger, impatience and – as Saint Francis de Sales advised – having “a little sweetness with oneself”, in order to offer “a little sweetness to others”;

— Peace with the other: the relative, the friend, the foreigner, the poor, the one who suffers...; daring to meet and listening to the message that it carries with it;

— peace with creation, rediscovering the greatness of God's gift and the share of responsibility that corresponds to each one of us, as inhabitants of the world, citizens and architects of the future.

The policy of peace - which knows well and takes responsibility for human frailties - can always resort to the spirit of the Magnificat that Mary, Mother of Christ the Savior and Queen of Peace, sings in the name of all men: "His mercy comes to his faithful from generation to generation. He makes feats with his arm: scatters the proud of heart, knocks down the throne to the mighty and exalts the humble; […] remembering mercy as promised to our parents in favor of Abrahan and his descendants forever» (Lk 1,50-55).

Vatican, December 8, 2018


Jesus, like the wizards of the East, I can let myself be guided by the intuition that prayer gives me, follow the star that shines in the dark without failing until I can find the place... where you are!

Jesus that my wounds, concerns and obsessions do not deceive me anymore... that they no longer dominate my thoughts, my desires, my affections to the point of going blind and doing what I do not want to do!

Jesus make me an instrument of politics in your style, that my political life or relationship with the polis, with the people I meet every day in my daily life is to let you live in me and let you be in me!

May our commitment as a Church be to become instruments of peace like Francisco de Asis, like Padre Pio, like Pope Francis...! 

A child has been born to us, a savior! peace!

We sang?

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