Second Sunday of Advent – Peace
Peace: 1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. 2. freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.
Peace isn’t the word used to describe Christmas and yet is part of Advent - preparing for the celebration of Jesus coming, peace is one of the ways we are to prepare. Peace is all through the Bible. We are called to be the peace, to pursue the peace, to choose peace. The one whose name is Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and God of Peace (Hebrews 13:20-21). He is the one who will guide our feet into the path of Peace (Luke 1:79). His name is Jesus. He spoke these words to his followers during troubling times. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe in me.” (John 14:1)
I have been challenged to accept some changes in my life that limit my abilities and the plans I have for my future. How I choose to respond can ultimately determine my sense of internal peace and the peace I can then bring to others. Can I find peace when I am told I cannot achieve my dreams because of something beyond my control and my ability to change? Can I surrender to God's will? Apparently not without a fight, or at least a lengthy discussion with God, one to one. Not without trying my best. Just as Jesus had, I requested, "O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." The second part of that request came later as it was harder to include in the beginning. God's will is often very mysterious. But there is a plan for me, so I make every effort to overcome the obstacles I face each day with a steady faith and persistence, and still cope with the reality of my circumstances and to live the will of God. Day by day, one day at a time, helps keep things in perspective; to count each step I take and make each step I take count. Let this season of remembering the birth of the Prince of Peace be the one where we ask the God of Peace to bring rest and peace into our troubled hearts. This Advent I hope and pray we all can find that peace that God wants us to have, and to share it with each other, not just today, not just this season, but every day. The peace of God be with you.
Prayer of St Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.