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A multitude of heavenly hosts praised God and said: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men.” (Luke 2:14)
We often think of peace as a quiet, restful place. Recently, I found a sign on one of the WPC refrigerators which reads, “Peace, it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” “Peace” may be a place of silence, a sense of inner calm and wellbeing, or as the heavenly host declared, a sense of goodwill among people. Peace among people, however, requires hard work.
At the fall PEVA conference on “Peacemaking”, the concept of “waging peace” was introduced. We asked ourselves if peace was just another element of Christ’s wonderful gifts or if we had an active role in bringing it about? To wage peace, we need to start with that calm inner quiet so that we can hear God’s call to action. We need sufficient courage and gratitude to respond to his call and to actively and re-spectfully listen to others with open hearts. We also need to be guided by the lessons of Matthew 25: be prepared for the Lord’s coming, use all the special talents God has given you, and remember when you help the least of these you help the Lord. I believe God calls each of us to wage peace and work for justice. At Christmas time and throughout the year, let us say, “Here we are Lord,” as our gift to him when he calls.
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