«Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace» (Luke 1:78, 79, NLT).
I WANT to tell the Taliban that the real struggle is the one that is waged through culture and words. I am fighting for my rights and those of girls in my country.» These were the words of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani who suffered an attack when she was fifteen years old because of the «crime» of going to school. Her difficult path began when the Taliban occupied the region where she lived and announced that women were banned from receiving formal education. With her father’s support, Malala decided to continue to receive an education. For that reason, she was hit by several bullets as she traveled on a school bus. Her activism in favor of women earned her a Nobel Peace Prize.
How ironic that in seeking peace, one meets with violence; that in fighting for the rights of all, one encounters opposition. It is ironic but it is common. And perhaps we should not expect anything different. No one said it would be easy, but we must have luminaries that light the paths.
A luminary, but at a much higher level, was John the Baptist. The words of our verse for today—prophesied by Zechariah, his father—refer to him. Predestined to be a prophet and a light to people who lived in darkness and in the shadow of death, John charted for himself a path of peace through which many repented and accepted the Lord. However, he had to lose his life. He who was life for so many lost his own for having brought peace and salvation. It is another of those hard realities of life that are hard for us to accept.
Perhaps you, dear friend, have resolved to trace paths of peace, and you do it with all the love and goodwill that the Holy Spirit puts in you, but you encounter walls of incomprehension that make you feel that it is not worth the effort. You know what? Of course it is worth it, because this life is not the end of everything! In Revelation 22:12 we read: «And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.» May your work continue to be a path of peace and light. Do not let your light go out.