In Advent, I always return to the words of Thomas Merton: “Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
For Merton, our Savior doesn’t descend from heaven as a colonizing white conqueror. No, he comes uninvited, a poor, brown-skinned Jewish child in a complicated family living under the horrors of Roman occupation. In a pile of dirty hay, through the messy, incarnate realities of childbirth, in a cold first-century Palestinian cave amidst animals and strangers, Christ enters history. And he enters a violent society where there is absolutely no room for him at all.
Through the promotion of peace and racial justice, Pax Christi USA is making room for the coming of the nonviolent Christ, and you are a part of that sacred work.
I remember when my friend Fr. John Dear helped me see Christ’s coming in a new way. When I attended John’s first Mass in 1993, I was struck by the opening blessing that he offered to the congregation: “May the grace and peace of God our Creator, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the love of the nonviolent Jesus be with all of you.”
When John gave this blessing, the congregation burst into spontaneous applause, and I reflected on the power of his words. To speak the truth about Jesus’ nonviolence in a world marked by violence, poverty and racism is an act of revolutionary love.
And that’s why I want to ask you to give financially to Pax Christi USA during this Advent season. For 50 years, Pax Christi USA has been seeking peace, working for justice, and speaking truth to power.
At Pax Christi USA’s founding in 1972, everyday peacemakers made a commitment to the nonviolent Jesus. At our national conference in August of this year, peacemakers continued that commitment with creative actions for peace, justice, and social transformation:
Peacemakers with our Bread Not Stones effort to cut the military budget planned actions in 18 states and at the Pentagon to redirect military spending towards “things that make for peace.”
Indigenous peacemakers and settlers striving for solidarity called on Pax Christi groups across the country to dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery with prayer, study, and action.
Young peacemakers with the Pax Christi Young Adult Caucus (PCYAC), who earlier this year were among the first activists to hold a peace vigil outside of the Russian embassy, teamed up with New Ways Ministry to uplift the work and witness of LGBTQ+ peacemakers.
All of the inspiring initiatives launched at our conference will continue in 2023 (and beyond!): We will continue to resist racism and settler colonialism, locally and internationally. We will continue to promote nonviolence, nuclear disarmament, and cuts to the military budget. We will continue to put the witness of young peacemakers at the center of our work.
As our historic 50th anniversary comes to a close, can you invest $50, $250, $500, $1,000 or whatever you can give to seed our work for new generations and the next five decades of peacemaking?
Christ comes uninvited and unexpected, but you have been a faithful supporter of our work for peace, and we know we can count on you. Whatever you can give this year, Pax Christi USA is so grateful for the support you have shown us in the last five decades. You have been Christ’s peace, in all of the surprising, unexpected places it shows up. Thank you.
In the surprising, uninvited peace of Christ,
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
PS: You can give by clicking here or on one of the donation links above. Thanks for your generous support of our mission!
We also take checks made out to Pax Christi USA, 415 Michigan Ave. NE, Suite 240, Washington, DC 20017-4503.
Or donate over the phone, 202-635-2741 and ask for Nadia Espinoza (after Dec. 2).