We are celebrating...the peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—the peace that was announced by the angels at his birth;
the peace that he communicated to all who came into contact with him during his earthly life; the peace that he gave to his Apostles when he stood among them after his Resurrection, saying: Peace be with you (Jn 20:19).
We are celebrating the peace that Christ won for us by his Paschal Mystery—by his Passion, Death, and Resurrection from the dead. We are able to enjoy peace because God sent his own Son into the world to be our Redeemer.
And the peace that we are celebrating is our redemption from sin, our deliverance from God's anger and from eternal punishment. Without Christ we would have remained, in the words of Saint Paul, children of wrath (Eph 2:3). But in truth we have been liberated by Christ; everything is new in our relationship with God. Christ has reconciled us to himself, making peace by the blood of his cross (Col 1:20). We have been called out of the darkness of sin into the Kingdom of God's marvelous light, where we have received mercy and grace and peace from Jesus Christ.
Through God's love we have not only received the gift of human life but we have also become adopted children of God. Through Christ's great peacemaking act—his sacrifice on the cross—we have become his brothers and sisters, and, with him, heirs of eternal life. Because of this new relationship of ours with God in Christ, peace is now possible: peace in our hearts and in our homes, peace in our communities and in our nations, peace throughout the world. Yes, Jesus Christ is the supreme peacemaker of human history, the reconciler of human hearts, the liberator of humanity, the Redeemer of man. He is our peace (Eph 2:14).
Saint John Paul II. "Peace be with you." from the Homily Mass for Peace, February 19, 1981, Manila, Philippines
Used with permission Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Saint Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) was elected Pope in 1978 and served until his death in 2005. Among his many writings are: Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body, Love and Responsibility, The Splendor of Truth, and The Gospel of Life: Evangelium Vitae.Copyright © 1981 Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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