His Excellency, Mons. Luigi Pezzuto, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the main celebrant in the church of St. James on Tuesday, 1 January, 2019, on the Feast of the Mother of God and the World Day of Peace. We, hereby, bring his homily:
The most respected Excellency, beloved brothers priests, religious brothers and sisters, beloved brothers and sisters in faith,
At the beginning of the New Year we want to become aware of the fact that the time is the gift of God for faithful and one needs to live with the feeling of the responsibility, because all of our choices are at state in the time and in the time we also live the experience of our own boundaries, surpassed only by the Providence from our Heavenly Father who transforms the whole time of salvation.
Indeed, we are also invited to accept the great gift of peace in the time and to make it fruitful, which is what we wish to meditate upon today, led by the Holy Father Francis, who also gives us today his message for the World Day of Peace, titled: Good politics is at the service of peace.
In this message, Pope explains the root of deciding for the common good. This “role”, as he explains, cannot take into the consideration “protection of rights” and encouraging “dialogue between members of the society, generations and cultures".
There is a reminder for “those called to the service of their country, particularly for those who were elected to protect and to govern.” They are all to practice human virtues that sustain all sound political activity – justice, equality, mutual respect, sincerity, honesty and fidelity. There is no peace without mutual trust, and trust needs to respect given word. No, therefore to the empty promises, picturesque promises destined to fail and yes to the deeds prepared to include all the social factors in building of the common good.
As Pope Paul VI wrote in his Apostolic Letter "Octogesima adveniens", it is necessary to take politics seriously at its different levels – local, regional, national and worldwide – is to affirm the duty of each individual to acknowledge the reality and value of the freedom offered to him to work at one and the same time for the good of the city, the nation and all mankind." Political office and political responsibility thus constantly challenge those called to the service of their country to make effort to protect those who live there and to create conditions for a worthy and just future. As the greatest form of charity, we need to take the image of Pope Montini, frequently quoted by Pope Francis.
The message for the World Peace Day, brings good fruits of the community based on the social friendship that values individuals, all in the service of personal and common good. St. John XXIII, in his Apostolic Letter "Peace on Earth" (1963) reminded us: "Man’s awareness of his rights must inevitably lead him to the recognition of his duties. The possession of rights involves the duty of implementing those rights, for they are the expression of a man’s personal dignity."
We are therefore invited "to bring and to announce peace as the good news of a future where every living creature would be perceived in his dignity and in his rights."
It is very significant that Pope Francis devotes to the youth the 5th chapter of his Message: „Good politics promotes the participation of the young and trust in others. It is especially important in Bosnia and Herzegovina where we witness to the exodus of the youth to foreign countries. But when politics concretely fosters the talents of young people and their aspirations, peace grows in their outlook and on their faces. It becomes the confident assurance that says, ‘I trust you and with you I believe’ that we can all work together for the common good. One of the reasons for exodus are not just the economical issues, but the lack of trust too. Young people do not trust institutions today, this trust should be reflected in the more concrete way on behalf of those responsible for the common good.
The lack of trust brings fear, fear against all that is different. Your country is in a very particular situation. At one side, it is the country where many young immigrate to abroad, while at the other side, it is the country of transit of many who seek for the better life. Often, lack of understanding and despair are the source of misunderstandings. Holy Father says in his message: "Political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and to deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable. Rather, there is a need to reaffirm that peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect fro the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for richness of the moral tradition inherited from the past generations."
Finally, Holy Father entrusts the politics of peace to Mary, Mother of Christ, and we do the same.
May her motherly intercession and protection of Mother of Christ the Saviour and our Mother, the Queen of Peace, always be with us.