Are You at Peace?

by Pope Francis

Peace-making consists in not talking evil of and harming others, a bit like imitating God, who humbled himself.

In the pastoral scene evoked by Isaiah 11:1-10 in the reading, where the wolf and the lamb, and the leopard and the kid, live side by side harmlessly, the prophet speaks about the peace of Jesus that transforms life and history, which is why he is called “The Prince of Peace.”

Advent, therefore, is the time to prepare ourselves for this Prince of Peace by being at peace with ourselves, with our soul, that is often in anxiety, anguish, and without hope. For this, one needs to start with oneself.

Today the Lord asks us whether our soul is at peace? If not, then we should ask the Prince of Peace to pacify our souls, so we can meet him. We are so used to looking at the souls of others rather than our own.

After being at peace with our soul, it is time to be at peace at home, in the family. There is much sadness in families with much struggle, “small wars” and at times, disunity.

I urge you to examine yourselves as to whether you are at peace or at war in your families or against others, whether there are bridges or walls that separate.

Make peace in the world where there is much war, disunity, hatred and exploitation. We need to ask ourselves what we are doing about creating peace in the world by working for peace in the neighbourhood, in the school and in the workplace.

I urge you to ask yourselves whether you find excuses to make war, to hate, to talk ill about others and condemn or whether you are meek and try to build bridges.

Peace is never still but always moves forward. It starts with the soul, and after making its journey of peace, it returns to the soul.

Making peace is a bit like imitating God. When He wanted to make peace with us and forgave us, he sent his Son to make peace, to be the Prince of Peace.

To be a peacemaker one does not have to be wise and learned and study peace. Peace is an attitude that Jesus speaks about in the Gospel. Jesus glorifies God because he has hidden these things from the wise and learned and has revealed them to the little ones.

I urge you to make yourselves small, humble and the servant of others. The Lord will give you the ability to understand how to make peace and will provide you the strength to make it.

Children too can ask themselves whether at school they bully a companion they dislike because he is a little hateful or weak, or make peace and forgive everything.

Whenever there is the possibility of a “small war” at home, in the heart, at school or at work, we should stop short and try and make peace.

“Never, never wound the other. Never.” I exhort you to start by not speaking ill of others or firing the first cannon. This way, we become men and women of peace, carrying peace forward.