Archbishop Eamon Martin spoke of the evils of war, violence, human trafficking and exploitation in his midnight Mass homily in Armagh on Christmas Eve.
"Sadly, war and violence rage on in many parts of the world - from Afghanistan to the Yemen, from Mexico to Syria and Somalia," said the Derry prelate in St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"Millions of families, including many of our Christian brothers and sisters, are being displaced because of persecution and oppression.
"Human trafficking and other forms of exploitation remind us that evil continues to profit from the misfortune and misery of our fellow human beings," he added.
Archbishop Martin asked where the light of Christ could be found in this context.
"It shines out when kindness and generosity refuse to be mastered by darkness and despair; it inspires good people to continue working for lasting peace and reconciliation here in Ireland; it motivates children and young people to raise awareness of the climate crisis by challenging themselves and others to avoid waste and the ‘throwaway culture’.
"The light of Christ enkindles a spirit of generosity in families who fill shoeboxes and food hampers for the needy and homeless; it emboldens us to be ‘pro-life’ despite a creeping culture of choosing death; it enlightens whole communities to welcome and find homes for migrants and refugees in their midst; it arouses charity in the form of thousands of gifts of goats and chicks and trees and school lunches for those less fortunate in faraway places," he suggested.