Peace on Earth



“Peace on earth,” the angels sang in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Over 2000 years later, we are still waiting for that promise of peace to be a reality. Sometimes we succeed in bringing peace into a family feud or a neighborhood rift, but global peace feels like a fairy tale. Why is peace so elusive? The same reasons we struggle to find peace in our personal lives are the same reasons we struggle to achieve peace as societies and nations. Anger, greed, power, mistrust, and fear are all reasons peace is such a struggle. We want peace, but we want to be safe, personally, socially, and nationally.

It's helpful to remember that peace making isn’t so much about trying to undo or get rid of what we consider wrong, but rather to do the work of making peace, of healing and making whole, with all the goodness, truth, and beauty that we can. Peacemaking is an act of trust, not in the work we do or our own abilities, but in the One who calls us to make peace and who loves us as children: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. A global vision of peace on earth will likely remain a vision this side of heaven, but each of us has a bit of life in which we can make peace. And those little bits add up.


There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

1 John 4:18-21


  • Reflect on this week’s scripture. Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?
  • We can so easily be overwhelmed by all that is not good in the world around us. Where do you see the greatest need for peacemaking? What’s one thing you can do to be a peacemaker in this situation? Remember that your little bit is part of a greater whole.

  • Read Matthew 14:22-31. What are the waves in your life that are overwhelming for you? What are the ways you can keep your eyes on Jesus, rather than the waves?
  • Our prayer throughout this series is the Prayer of St. Francis. Pray it this week for our world in need of peace. Pray it for your bit of life where you are a peacemaker.


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.