December 29

Reflection

The image of the Holy Family, the gospel story of the birth of Jesus, and circumstances in which we encounter this reality provide us with the Jesus way to live in the midst of a world terribly divided by political, economic, and nationalistic tensions.  What if each of us sought to bring love and light, warmth and peace, to the situations of our lives much like the Christ Child breaking into the reality of the world in real time? As much as each of us wants to be “right” as opposed to all that seems wrong or out of place, what if the option was to love? Jesus in the Christmas reality offers redemption and peace as the answer to conflict and strife. Peace on earth and mercy mild seem like distant, unattainable realities in the midst of our present world. This Christmas season provides the Jesus Way to incarnate love, to offer small gestures found in the redemption and peace of Christ for the world. And you and I are the delivery system for this. Embrace the season, embrace the mission –carry the redeeming love and peace of Christ to the places and people in your life.
Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano

Prayer

May there be peace on earth.

Action

How can you promote peace within your own circle of family, friends, personal and civic community?  What is one specific issue you can address?

Suggested Reading

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward all people.
Luke2:14

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35

Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.
Pope Francis

Peace begins with a smile.
Mother Teresa

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Francis of Assisi

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.
Henri Nouwen

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.
George Washington

Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.
John F. Kennedy

Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
Thomas Merton

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