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2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2022-2023

“Life is hard!”
You may have heard a number of people say this recently, and you probably felt that you knew what they meant!
Viruses of different kinds, the cost of living with inflation, shortage of different items, lack of personnel in different services, conflicts and war –
the list could go on.
Faced with all this, people feel helpless, and they lament and complain – what else can they do, they wonder.

In today’s 2nd reading, the apostle Paul, writing to the first Christians of Rome (Romans 15:4-9), speaks of:
the God who gives endurance and encouragement”.
 
Reading, or hearing, these words, we may think that this is where help is to be found.
We are told that these will give us HOPE.
God knows – he does indeed – how we need this!

But strangely enough, Paul goes on to say that we should pray God to give us these gifts of endurance and encouragement so that we may have:
“the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
 
It becomes clear, then, that our situation can improve if… we help one another!
Our condition will get better by making it easier for others to bear their burden –
the burden of daily life and all that it entails…

We may not manage to overcome all the difficulties people are faced with, but we may be able to bring some comfort to those in need of it.
Helping one another may be the way to brighten, not only their life, but also our own!

The season of Advent is a good period to make this experience…
We may be surprised at how positive the result turns out to be!
 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-a-2022-2023/

 

Source: Image: Pinterest

 

 

World Television Day – 21 November

In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day (through resolution 51/205 of 17 December 1996).

World Television Day is not so much a celebration of the tool, but rather the philosophy which it represents. Television represents a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world.

On 21 and 22 November 1996 the United Nations held the first World Television Forum, where leading media figures met under the auspices of the United Nations to discuss the growing significance of television in today’s changing world and to consider how they might enhance their mutual cooperation. That is why the General Assembly decided to proclaim 21 November as World Television Day.

This was done in recognition of the increasing impact television has on the process of decision-making. Television was thus acknowledged as a major tool in informing, channelling and affecting public opinion. Its impact and presence and its influence on world politics could not be denied.

 

Source: Text: UN    Image: Freepik

 

Conflict Resolution Day – 20 October 2022

Conflict Resolution Day is observed on the third Thursday of October every year, falling on October 20 this year. Conflicts tend to arise in many areas of our lives, such as workplaces, relationships, and families. It is an unavoidable process of life. What is important, however, is how we resolve it. Conflict resolution does not have to be nasty; it can be resolved through peaceful methods.

HISTORY OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION DAY

In any relationship, disagreement is unavoidable, and possessing the ability to peacefully resolve it when it arises becomes necessary. Conflicts arise because humans have needs, and in a bid to satisfy their individual needs and interests, disputes occur because of clashes of interests. These conflicts can arise between family or friends. It is in consideration of the above that the Association for Conflict Resolution (A.C.R.) established in 2005 what we now know as Conflict Resolution Day.

In inaugurating this important day, A.C.R. highlighted promoting awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation, and other creative, peaceful methods of resolving conflict as the motive behind its formation. Also, promoting conflict resolution in schools, families, businesses, communities, governments, and the legal system. The day also seeks to recognize the significant contributions of peaceful conflict resolvers and to obtain national synergy by having celebrations happen across the country and around the world on the same day.

Conflict Resolution Day, which has now been celebrated for over 15 years, coincides with the ABA Mediation Week of the American Bar Association. The week was created to build on the efforts of many other national, state, and local organizations, including the Association for Conflict Resolution. The ABA and A.C.R., along with other organizations, raise awareness about the importance of mediation and conflict resolution.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://nationaltoday.com/conflict-resolution-day  

World Day of Migrants and Refugees – 25 September 2022

This year, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 25 September. Catholics worldwide are called upon to remember those displaced by conflict and persecution.

ADDITIONAL INFO

The last Sunday of September of every year is the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.

Pope Francis chose “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees” as the theme for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

 

Source: Text: https://www.icmc.net/calendar/world-day-of-migrants-and-refugees-2022/   Image: migrants-refugees.va

 

International Day of Peace – 21 September 2022

2022 Theme: End racism. Build peace.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

But achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms.  It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race.

As Secretary-General António Guterres has said:

“Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and… the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.”

As conflicts continue to erupt across the globe, causing people to flee, we have seen race-based discrimination at borders. As COVID-19 keeps attacking our communities, we have seen how certain racial groups have been hit much harder than others. As economies suffer, we have seen hate speech and violence directed at racial minorities.

We all have a role to play in fostering peace. And tackling racism is a crucial way to contribute.

We can work to dismantle the structures that entrench racism in our midst. We can support movements for equality and human rights everywhere. We can speak out against hate speech – both offline and online. We can promote anti-racism through education and reparatory justice.

The 2022 theme for the International Day of Peace is “End racism. Build peace.” We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations as we work towards a world free of racism and racial discrimination. A world where compassion and empathy overcome suspicion and hatred. A world that we can truly be proud of.

 

Source: Text: UN   Image: unmiss.unmissions.org

 International Small Arms Destruction Day – 9 July

This date marks the International Small Arms Destruction Day, a date initiated by the United Nations in 2001 to remind the threat that the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of and illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons pose to peace and security, and highlights the importance of destroying surplus weapons as a key measure to reduce illicit arms flows and build safer societies where citizens can develop their full potential.

Illicit firearms are often catalysts and elements that aggravate the impact and harm produced by other crimes, including violent crimes, organised crime, drug trafficking or terrorism, among others, posing a major threat to human security and social stability, whilst standing as a serious obstacle to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 Indeed, the international community has recognised the need to reduce illicit arms flows as a key target (Target 16.4) in pursuit to achieve peace, justice and strong institutions, as Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

Over the past decade, arsenals have proliferated at global level. According to Small Arms Survey, it is estimated that there are approximately 1,13 billion firearms in circulation, among which 857 million are held by civilians; 133 million by military; and 22,7 million by law enforcement.

The larger the number of uncontrolled arms in circulation, the more difficult it is to ensure effective control over them throughout their entire lifecycle. Stockpiles become potential targets of thefts and attacks, and diversion points of firearms to the hands of criminals, non-state armed groups, terrorists, etc., contributing to fuel crime, conflict, gender-based violence, forced migration and innumerable indirect consequences.

Source: Text: UN   Image: Slidesgo

World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

Every year, thousands of men and women the world over put their lives in danger working in Humanitarian causes all over the world. Working in the most poverty and illness stricken third world countries the world over, often in areas of great social violence, these dedicated heroes put their lives on the line, and sometimes lose them in the pursuit of their goals. World Humanitarian Day is when we remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN. Sergio had worked at great length attempted to pull together the Draft for the official designation of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio was born in Brazil, and worked tirelessly over three decades to help those victims of armed conflict by easing their pain and making sure the world did not forget them. Awareness was a vital part of his campaign, trying to ensure that those in First World Countries and places of peace remembered that there was more to war than the deaths of combatants and conflicts between governments. These people struggle every day to survive against odds that were created in spite of their desire to just live in peace and safety.

World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize Sergio and the thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war, starvation, and pestilence.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR Image: Askideas.com

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day – 8 May

May 8 is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. It’s a time to recognize the staff and volunteers who traverse their communities, their countries, and the globe to alleviate human suffering.

1 in 25 people in the world is helped by the Red Cross or Red Crescent each year. Often putting their lives at risk, teams deliver aid in line with seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

Together, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams not only respond to emergencies—such as earthquakes, conflicts, migration crises, and health epidemics—but also help neighborhoods prepare for future disasters and ensure that children receive the vaccines they need to stay healthy. Our network is active in nearly every country and are in some of the most dangerous places— a true front-line organization that helps those most impacted by conflict and disaster.

Red Cross and Red Crescent workers personify the true meaning of humanitarianism. They number 1 of every 470 people in the world. Neutrality and impartiality allow teams to work in areas that are off-limits to other organizations—granting access to men, women, and children who need help the most.

May 8, 2018 would have been Henry Dunant’s 190th birthday. The father of modern humanitarianism, Henry Dunant was a Swiss businessman and social activist, the founder of the Red Cross, and the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for what was described as the supreme humanitarian achievement of the 20th century. A contemporary of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, the two led the charge on opposite sides of the Atlantic in creating what would become a tremendous force for good in the world—bringing help and hope to those affected by disasters and conflict.

Source: Text: American Red Cross  Image: www.nationalcalendar.com.au

World Television Day – 21 November

The first World Television Forum was staged by the United Nations in the mid ’90s, and it was out of this event that World Television Day was born. The forum brought together leading figures from the media industry to analyze the growing impact that TV had on decision-making and public opinion when it comes to issues of peace and security around the planet.

The History of World Television Day
In December 1996 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 21st of November World Television Day, the same year the first World Television Forum was held. According to the United Nations, this decision was taken in order to give recognition of the increasing impact television has had on decision-making by bringing various conflicts and threats to peace and security to the world’s attention, as well as its coverage of other major issues, including economic and social. 

World Television Day is not meant to be so much a celebration of the electronic tool itself, but rather of the philosophy which it represents–a philosophy of openness and transparency of world issues. Television has long been thought to represent communication and globalization in the contemporary world. However, not all of the government representatives present saw matters quite that way.

The delegation from Germany said, “Television is only one means of information and an information medium to which a considerable majority of the world population has no access… That vast majority could easily look at World Television Day as a rich man’s day. They do not have access to television. There are more important information media and here I would mention radio in particular.”

Source: Text & Image: DAYSoftheYEAR

 

 

International Olympic day – 23 June

The history of the Olympic movement is rooted in the deep past (776BC). The first (modern) Olympic games were recorded in 1896. At the time they were so important event that warring States ceased their conflicts in order to commemorate this event.

Since that year it has been more than thirty Olympiads. And only three times in 110 years (1916, 1940, 1944) games were not held due to war. Many athletes have shown outstanding results over the past few years, won hundreds of trophies and medals. The movement gained momentum with each passing games.

But in 1967, the international Olympic Committee announced the establishment of 23 June, the International Olympic day. Olympic Champions is a sports heritage of any country. The education of youth in the spirit of mutual understanding through sport to further strengthen the world is the goal of the Olympic movement.

To be a member, or better yet the winner of the Olympic games, the dream of every athlete. Athletes around the world remain faithful to this call. And actively promote the Olympic movement.

Source: Text: Russian Events and Holidays  Image: Canadian Olympic School Programme