Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peace on Earth...

During Christmas the word peace is used often. What does peace mean? For many it means the absence of conflict and strife. Peace for some also means a life of comfort, without worry. Yet, true peace is union with God. We have all heard the refrain: "God and man are reconciled" by the birth of Jesus.

Here is what Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, said:

When a man forgets his eternal destiny, and when the horizons of his life are limited by his earthly existence, he is content with a fictitious peace, with a mere outward appearance of tranquility. All he asks is the illusory security of attaining the greatest possible material well-being with the least effort. In this he builds an imperfect and unstable peace, since it is not rooted in the dignity of the human person, a person made in the image and likeness of God and called to his divine sonship. You must never be content with these substitutes for peace, for their fruit produces the most bitter disillusionment. Jesus Christ emphasized this when He said to disciples shortly before his ascension into heaven: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. (Jn 14:27)

from John Paul II's Address to UNIV-86, Rome, 1986.

Without God, there can be no peace. The celebrations of the Christmas season become empty, a mere passing of time with gift giving and socializing. It is unfortunate that, in order to keep God definitely apart from us, the mention of the word Christmas is unacceptable.

Without that first Christmas, there would not be peace. May we always be people of peace—people of Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Fr. Stanley