Joyeux Noël
Peace be with you!  
Joy and Peace on Christmas! The birth of the Infant of Bethlehem is an amazing sign. God takes on a human face. He participates in our human condition. His coming brings peace to the human family. Peace is possible.
Dieu prend visage d'homme
During the war of 1914 - 18, one episode has always struck me. While the Germans and the French know this terrible war in the trenches, the night of Christmas changes everything. German soldiers intone a Christmas Carol and light candles. The French do the same.  
expérience de la fraternité Now, the incredible happens: Hear and there some soldiers climb out of the trenches. They walk towards each other with naked hands. None aims at the eyes of the other. They hold each other's hands and discover, for the first time, that they are brothers in humanity. Others follow and Joy breaks out: An experience of rediscovered brotherhood. They share their meagre resources and live this night of Christmas with a unique intensity.
The moment comes when they have to leave each other, go back into the trenches and pick up their arms again.
When the commanders hear of this treason, the sanctions charge down on them. Most of them are executed, others suffer heavy penalties.
It is much easier to make war than peace!
At the television news, another news item captures my attention: a baby has been kidnapped by a woman. Right away, every action possible is taken to find the baby again. The jung father, his face contorted by pain, declares to the viewers:
"I want to say to this person that, if she returns our baby, she would be well received. She would not be judged. We would hear her distress because she must be suffering greatly."
An admirable word of peace! This man, so tested, does not look for retaliation. He is ready to knit human ties with this woman.
In these times of preparation for Christmas, a liturgical hymn speaks of the "immense chaining of contempt and violence" which so concerns the human beings. This is as true today, as it was yesterday.  
Peace is not a dream, it is a combat. Our combat.
May the feast of Christmas be a source of peace to you and your families. Happy New Year!
Noël source de paix
Jacques Gaillot
Bishop of Partenia