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Swanson, John August. Festival of Lights, from Art in the Christian Tradition.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you (John 14: 27).

Like Jesus’ disciples of years ago, we hear these words and cling to their hopeful promise for solace and newness. We receive them as gift, striving to embrace them as a guide for our spiritual journeys.

But what is the peace offered by Christ? Without much thought, many would define peace as simply the absence of conflict or war. And yet, God’s peace does not simply exist when people stop fighting each other. This peace is anything but silent and still. It is active and full of abundant life.

Prophets and theologians have described this peace as the peaceable, Godly realm in which justice and mercy reign, where the lion will rest with the lamb, and where children can be children. It thrives when people come together in harmony and community.

Jesus lived in a time of disease, uncertainty, and unrest — as do we. He found ways to rest in God’s peace and to bring that peace to those he encountered. He modeled for us the way: to lose ourselves in love and live for the whole of the beloved community. To put aside our own needs to work for justice, to heal and, as Pope Francis likes to put it, “to mercy our world.”

In this issue of Voices of Compassion, we introduce you to many individuals who take to heart this vision of Christ’s peace. They seek ways to bring peace to troubled hearts and vulnerable lives, especially in times and situations when there seems to be no peace. They are present to one another, take the time to communicate and to understand — to “be with” — as they sow seeds of peace. They trust the risen Healer stands with them, holding their hearts and hands, empowering them and guiding their journeys.

They provide a beautiful window into the peace Christ gives to us. Their hopeful actions help us to pray: May we trust the Prince of Peace who sends us forth to practice peace, to be peace and to give peace to all whom we meet.

 


This is the introductory note for the Spring 2021 issue of Voices of Compassion, the magazine of Maryknoll Lay Missioners.

To read a PDF copy of the magazine, click here.

You can find an archive of previous issues of Voices of Compassion magazine here.

 

Ted Miles Ted Miles
Ted Miles is the executive director of Maryknoll Lay Missioners.