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Sunday, December 20, 2009

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Micah 5:1-4
Hebrews 10:5-10
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Luke 1:39-45

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jesus, peace on earth

"He shall be peace." —Micah 5:4

The angels heralding Jesus' birth proclaimed "Peace on earth" as Peace Incarnate entered the world (Lk 2:14). In doing the will of God the Father (Heb 10:7), Jesus, the Ruler, brings peace to His people (Mi 5:1, 4). Jesus our Peace (Eph 2:14) comes to bring peace. When He appeared to His apostles on the evening of His resurrection, Jesus' first words were "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19).

How ironic and sad that Peace should be hunted down by the government as an Infant (Mt 2:16), forced to flee as a Refugee to a foreign land (Mt 2:13ff), and made to live in poverty (2 Cor 8:9). Finally, Peace was persecuted, brutalized, and crucified. Jesus is still hunted down and crucified by present-day governments. For example, Jesus was ejected from the American public schools. Decades later, some high schools hire armed guards to try to keep the peace. How many acts of violence have been committed in the public schools since Peace was thrown out? Jesus laments to all who reject Him: "If only you had known the path of peace this day; but you have completely lost it from view!" (Lk 19:42)

Do we really want peace on earth? Would we rather have worldly peace, which is often merely the temporary cessation of war, or true "shalom" peace, which overturns (see Jn 2:14ff) the world's systems, cultures, societies, and lifestyles? True world peace can be achieved only by opening our lives, homes, social structures, schools, institutions, and governments to Jesus, Who is Peace (Eph 2:14).

Prayer:  Jesus, "Prince of Peace" (Is 9:5), let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me receiving You as Lord of my life.

Promise:  "We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." —Heb 10:10

Praise:  "O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel, controlling at Your will the gate of heaven!"

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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