Advent 2: What Is Peace?


 
Today is the second Sunday of the Advent season, and the theme of the day/week is PEACE. 

The peace we honour today is our belief that each and every one of us is loved and cherished – no matter who we are and what we do, what struggles we face, what choices we’ve made, how we dress, where we work, who we hang out with....

Peace is knowing that we are loved and accepted, forgiven and welcomed all the time – not just at Christmas, not just at Easter, not just on Sunday or our birthday BUT EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Peace is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, forgiving the guilty, welcoming the stranger and the unwanted child, caring for the ill, and loving your enemies. 

Peace is justice – which means taking care of everyone around the world, not just in our own community and our own country. It means making sure everyone has access to and receives vaccines, regardless of how rich or poor the country in which live is, no matter their level of education. 

Peace is justice – which means treating everyone fairly and equitably, no matter where they live or what work they do or how much or how little money – and stuff – they have. 

This is how we make the world a better place. By being people who are generous, loving, compassionate, healing, inclusive and fair. 

It’s hard! Peace in families? Hard work. And sometimes loving your enemy is easier than loving your neighbour. 

But instead of disregarding “peace” because we think it’s too hard, or worse, NOT POSSIBLE, I give you this from author Anne Lamott, in her book, Help, Thanks, Wow

“Gratitude is peace.” 

Let’s think about that for a moment because the way our culture “does” Christmas, it’s really easy to lose sight of what we have – and to be thankful for that. 

This is what I’d like you to do every morning this week: Before getting out of bed each morning, as soon as you open your eyes and are awake enough, think of something for which you are grateful. 
Say thanks – even if it’s thanks for waking up to another day! 

There’s a whole lot of peace to be found in being grateful for what we have, instead of striving for more, instead of giving in to the pressure to buy more, give more, bake more, be more. 

Gratitude is peace.  

This is the first and simplest way to create a life of peace: to be constantly and completely full of gratitude. Because as blogger Natham Hamm wrote: “Gratitude is also – joy, freedom, grace, harmony, rest, strength, health, and contentment. So in the end, gratitude is enough.”

Shalom! 
Amen! 

~ SJ 

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