Time for Peace: 2016 Justice Review

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Kelly Litt
Kelly Litt

It’s hard to believe the Advent and Christmas seasons have come and gone, speeding by as we begin 2017. This Advent season was a time of waiting, which often proves difficult in our busy, fast-paced lives. I think waiting is especially tough, and at times frustrating, when dealing with peace and justice issues. How I wish systemic changes and improvements would occur overnight!

I often feel that there just isn’t enough time to focus on all of the injustices constantly occurring. Looking back over 2016, there seemed to be many places and times void of peace. We were discouraged and heartbroken again and again over countless incidents and tragedies such as:

  • The scenes and continued tragedy in Syria as well as other war-torn countries;
  • A combative and divisive election;
  • Violent incidents worldwide including bombings and shootings;
  • Wildfires, floods, and hurricanes; and
  • The devastating stories of the global refugee crisis.

Yet, as the New Year begins, it’s important to rejoice over the triumphs of 2016 as we look to make even more progress in 2017. Some positive highlights from the past year include:

  • The Paris Climate Agreement which went into effect;
  • The canonization of Mother Teresa by Pope Francis;
  • The suspended construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline;
  • The strides made toward outlawing honor killings in Pakistan;
  • The ban on drilling in portions of the Atlantic and Arctic by President Obama;
  • The fact that the death penalty has continued to decline in the United States; and
  • The more than 800,000 volunteers in India who planted 50 million trees in one day.

Well equipped with Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace theme: “Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace,” we can work together to overcome injustices and continue to preach truth and peace with hope in God’s promise for our future. Change won’t happen overnight, but we can take steps forward, together. After all, we now have 362 days ahead of us in 2017 to make the world a better place, and that’s plenty of time to work toward peace!

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

5 responses to “Time for Peace: 2016 Justice Review

  1. We are living and making peace all day long in the ways we interact with and relate to one another. If we are at peace with God inside ourselves, we will be able to make
    a difference each and every day of the remaining 362….we
    are strong together; let’s hold hands with whoever is right
    next to us on our daily journey.

    Ellen Dunn,OP

  2. That’s a nice positive attitude, and good to hear in this day of “ain’t it awful” thinking because our new president doesn’t appeal to everyone. Hopefully the nay-sayers will at least give the new administration and Congress a chance! We are, after all, :”One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” It simply is not “just” to be so critical before the new administration has even been installed and had a chance to prove themselves. Instead, let’s all pray this coming 4 years turns out to be the best thing for our country and the world as a whole, okay?

  3. Thank you for the positives of this past year. It is good to see that there is progress even though it doesn’t always seem that way. May God bless all those who work with the poor and oppressed.

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