Peace be with you! | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

Peace be with you!

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Someone observed that if you put black ants and red ants together in a jar, they can coexist peacefully together. But if the jar is shaken, their peace is disturbed, and they end up fighting each other.

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Today is the second Sunday of Advent. We light today the candle of Peace. We pray especially for peace in our hearts, peace in our family, and peace in our communities. There are a lot of factors that can disturb our peace. But there is one factor that can help us preserve our peace, and that is the presence of God in our lives. The presence of God gives peace in our lives. No peace in your life? Maybe you have left out God from your heart?

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In today’s Gospel (Mark 1:1-8), John the Baptist was clear in his message: repentance and forgiveness of sins. Peace begins in the heart. Peace happens when we have humble and contrite hearts. Let us go back to our hearts, set things straight with God, and be reconciled with others. The key to peace is humility. A humble and contrite heart is our gift to God, a gift to ourselves. If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart … be reconciled with God, be at peace with others who hurt you or whom you have hurt.

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“He must increase, I must decrease.” This is the formula for true peace. The more we have God in our hearts, the more we have humble, contrite, and loving hearts. The more we listen to and obey God, the more we can become more loving to others.

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A friend of mine made a good confession last week. He was burdened by hatred for those people who hurt him some 10 years ago. He has been carrying that unnecessary, heavy, irritating, recurring baggage, and finally, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, he let go, and he let God, and he was set free.

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The preface for the second Sunday of Advent reminds us to be “watchful in prayer, and exultant in His praise.” The best way to prepare for Christ’s coming is to have quiet time with the Lord, to listen to Him, and to feel His presence joyfully amidst the noise, the hurts, the stress, and the anxieties that this time of the year brings. Stay focused on the Lord, not on the load! “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

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Peace in our hearts must overflow to the people around us. Peace is meant to be given and shared. Let us continue to offer our peace, and to become instruments of peace. This is a difficult and even a thankless endeavor, but let us keep on taking the road of peace anyway. Yes, let’s give peace a chance. Let us not give up on peace.

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Papa and Mama taught us to take the road of peace. How? By being humble, and by being generous. By their very examples, we learned that there is merit in being hidden and unnoticed, not to be envious of those who have more in life, and not to be loud and proud. Papa and Mama did not have enemies. They knew how to forgive. They were humble and very giving.

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Have you seen Santa Claus? I haven’t, but I grew up with two Santas, my parents, who were such giving people! They didn’t have much but they made us feel loved and cared for, even if we were lacking in material blessings. Most of all, their generosity to people, especially to the poor and the needy, is something that makes me smile and misty-eyed whenever I remember it.

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Someone once asked: What is the cost of peace? Compared to the high cost of having good health, or having the comforts of life, the cost of peace is free: just reach out to God, and you can be at peace.

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A moment with the Lord.

Lord, help us to live peaceful and meaningful lives. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Moments, religious column

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