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Again, Prayers for Peace on Earth

Catholics all over the world will celebrate tomorrow the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mama Mary.

It was Pope Pius IX who officially declared on December 8, 1854 "that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin."

Mama Mary's presence and intercession have been witnessed here in our country and all over the world. As a testimony, the EDSA Shrine was built and dedicated to Mary, Our Lady, the Queen of Peace.

As we close this year, 2017, we lift to Mama Mary our prayers for her intercession for peace in our country, for our region and the rest of the world.

We remain a divided nation, a divided people. Threats to our democracy, to God's truth and justice are real and alarming. Clashes with the communist groups have been reported more frequently. There are also the recent murder of priests, including that of a university president, and more. Will these clashes, arrests, and killings be used as justification for national martial law or, worse, for Du30's proposed revolutionary government? We pray for God's peace, His truth and justice during these uncertain times.

Recent survey results by the Social Weather Stations showed that, for the 3rd quarter of 2017, 47 percent (or about 10.9 million) of families considered themselves as mahirap or poor, three points above the 44 percent (about 10.1 million) in June 2017. This latest Self-Rated Food-Poverty is higher than the averaged 31 percent in 2016 and 35 percent in 2015. Will the number of the poor increase this month and the new year?

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We pray that the welfare of our poor be prioritized more urgently, dear God. This December and for the New Year, we claim God's peace for Du30, his minions, our whole nation, our people, especially our poor. We pray for the rest of the world as well.

Will tensions escalate globally? Will the recently launched missile from North Korea bring the world closer to a military confrontation?

On her Feast Day, we are uplifted and inspired that Mama Mary continues to be with us, to intercede for God's peace and love for all.

Today, we are comforted and assured that God has sent us His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us with unconditional healing love. "When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble…and show them my salvation" (Psalm 91:15-16).

This midnight scene (Luke 2:8-14) also gently reminds us to remain in hope:

"An angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born-Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger."

"Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!"

Come, Lord Jesus, come! Come with Your love, Your peace, and Your salvation for all!

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