January 01, 2006

Let there be peace on Earth

January 1, 2006 is the 39th World Day of Peace. Pope Benedict XVI has continued in the tradition of his predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II by issuing his first World Peace Day Message, "In Truth, Peace." He calls on all followers of Christ to begin the new year by praying and working for peace.

"Peace is an irrepressible yearning present in the heart of each person, regardless of his or her particular cultural identity. ... All people are members of one and the same family. … We need to regain an awareness that we share a common destiny which is ultimately transcendent, so as to maximize our historical and cultural differences, not in opposition to, but in cooperation with, people belonging to other cultures. …

"Peace thus comes to be seen in a new light; not as the mere absence of war, but as a harmonious coexistence of individual citizens within a society governed by justice, one in which the good is also achieved, to the extent possible, for each of them. ...

With confidence and filial abandonment let us lift up our eyes to Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace. At the beginning of this New Year, let us ask her to help all God’s People, wherever they may be, to work for peace and to be guided by the light of truth that sets all people free. Through Mary’s intercession may all people grow in esteem for this fundamental good and strive to make it ever more present in our world, and in this way, to offer a safer and more serene future to generations yet to come."
-Pope Benedict XVI, 2006 World Peace Day Message (click here to read the whole message)

What will you do for peace this year? I'm reminded of the song "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." Where are you called to be a peacemaker? Your family? Work? Church?