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2018 - Week 2 of Advent: Peace

One of my favorite Christmas carols is "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". The lyrics resonate with my hopeful heart - “Peace on earth and mercy mild. God and sinner reconciled.” What more do we want really?

Pope Francis has spoken about peace throughout his pontificate, urging all of us to become “peace leaders” and calling us to seek to understand those with whom we disagree. What a challenge that is. And what a special call we have as Catholic Christians to be peace leaders ourselves; to lead through humility.
 
In this, Pope Francis reminds us that peace is not passive, it requires action. We have to engage, actively look for signs of peace and then act as true peace leaders ourselves.
 
One of the great blessings of accompanying ACE teachers over the past 15 years is the chance I’ve had to see peace leaders in action.
 
I’ve seen a first-year teacher pour through information, meet with parents and come up with a plan so 3rd grader Elise, who has dyslexia and has been made fun of, can stay in her class and grow alongside her best friend in a safe learning environment.
 
A peace leader I know wrote down the phone number of helpers on the inside of his student Juan’s shoe so Juan knows who to call if he returns home one day to find his parents had been detained by ICE.
 
Yet another peace leader walks Brandon home from school every day to make sure he’s safe, even though neither of them know exactly where home will be for Brandon that night.
 
Peace on earth and mercy mild. We work for peace, and we ourselves are affected by it, we reap peace through the interaction and able to then sow more peace with others.
 
Isn’t that the story of the Visitation? Young Mary, single and pregnant. The object of gossip, stares, and judgment in her little village. Mary, took off in haste to see her cousin Elizabeth. She needed to be with someone who could offer her peace, and Elizabeth brought Mary peace. Even more so, Mary, in a real incarnate way, brought Elizabeth peace that day. The same peace she brings all of us through her child, Jesus. “Peace on earth and mercy mild.” Indeed.
 
Let us all work to be peace leaders in our families, our schools and our communities, through Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
 
God bless you and Merry Christmas.

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