Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love.

               “31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

                      Luke 6: 31

The Vatican, 21 December 1988 | We all instinctively seek joy and happiness. True joy is in communion with God, each other, and the other. 1 

               30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ [b] There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30-31; Leviticus 19: 18).

Hülsparkstadion, Kevelaer, Germany 2 May 1987 | To give the world the peace that humanity longs for, it needs more than the conferences of politicians, more than treaties created by fallible men and women – as essential as these are.

                The world plagued by strife needs above all the peace of Christ, more than mere political peace. The peace of Christ can only come in where people are ready to free themselves from sin. The most profound cause of all discord in the world is man’s turning away from God.

                 Those who do not live in peace with God can hardly live in harmony with their fellow men. 2

The Vatican, 19 December 1998 | I have always loved trees in my country. When you look at them, they begin in a way to speak. A poet who was born not far from your country (Bad Säckingen) and who lived on Lake Constance saw trees as effective preachers:

               “They do not preach doctrines or remedies; they proclaim the fundamental law of life.” 

In the blossoming of spring, the ripeness of summer, the autumn harvest, and the death of winter, trees tell the mystery of life. For this reason, since ancient times, men have used the tree as an image for the fundamental questions of life. 

Like trees, men need deep roots because only those deeply rooted in the fertile ground can remain steadfast. They can reach up to receive the light of the sun and at the same time resist the wind which shakes them. Yet, the existence of those who believe that they can do without this foundation remains suspended in the air like roots without soil. 

Sacred Scripture shows us the foundation in which we must root our lives to stay firm. The Apostle Paul offers us the best advice:

               “Remain well-rooted and founded in Jesus Christ, established in the faith as you were taught (Colossians 2: 7). 

I wish you and your loved ones and friends a blessed and joyous Christmas. 3


Editor’s note | How do the Dutch define’ Apartheid?’

‘Apartheid’ is a Dutch word. If someone says, “you’re ‘apart,'” it could be a compliment or an insult. ‘Apart’ could mean you’re unique, different in a positive way. It could also mean you’re weird; you don’t belong.  Apartheid is a state of wanting and needing or forcing upon others and oneself segregation, usually predicated on racial prejudices and socioeconomic differences. It gets deeper. Apartheid emboldens the dominant group to bully and exploit the weak. Often, it is the minority tyrannizing the majority. Yet, those in control believe they’re exercising their divine right … “it’s God’s will, we’re doing God’s work.”

The standard definition of Apartheid is ‘separation.’ So is the meaning of ‘hell:’ ‘separation from God.

Apartheid defies and goes against our biblical understanding of communion with God, each other, and the other.

Read more: ‘Peace & Apartheid,’ by Jonathan Kuttab


Excerpted from:

1. GIOVANNI PAOLO II, UDIENZA GENERALE, Mercoledì, 21 dicembre 1988


2. Apostolische Reise in Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, LOBPREIS, PREDIGT VON JOHANNES PAUL II., Hülsparkstadion in Kevelaer – Samstag, 2. Mai 1987


3. Address of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II to a Delegation from Bad Säckingen, Saturday, 19 December 1998