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Prince of Peace: Weekly Message for 12-28-2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
A month ago we celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King, and during the octave of Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Our Lord taught us that the peace he would bring was not as the world would give it (cf. John 14:27). In his words, “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Since the Fall until the coming of Christ, humanity has been at war with the Devil (cf. Genesis 3:14–15), the world (Genesis 3:17–19, 23; James 4:1–4), and itself (Romans 7:15–25), lost in a darkness it chose by turning away from the light of God.
Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah foretold that a light would shine in the darkness, the Prince of Peace: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. […] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; … and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ ” (Isaiah 9:1,6).
The birth of the Prince of Peace gives us the hope that one day we will obtain peace. Sadly we know that even as I write these words, nations, families, and hearts are at war, and the Holy Father on Christmas Day often turns his thoughts in his message Urbi et Orbi (“to the City and the World”) to those places in the world that suffer the scourge of war on the day we remember the birth of the Prince of Peace.
St. John XXIII in his encyclical Pacem in Terris (April 11, 1963), where he addresses the need to establish universal peace in truth, justice, charity, and liberty, noted that without the Prince of Peace universal peace in the world is impossible by human efforts alone:
We who, in spite of Our inadequacy, are nevertheless the vicar of Him whom the prophet announced as the Prince of Peace, conceive of it as Our duty to devote all Our thoughts and care and energy to further this common good of all mankind. Yet peace is but an empty word, if it does not rest upon that order which Our hope prevailed upon Us to set forth in outline in this encyclical. […]
So magnificent, so exalted is this aim that human resources alone, even though inspired by the most praiseworthy good will, cannot hope to achieve it. God Himself must come to man’s aid with His heavenly assistance, if human society is to bear the closest possible resemblance to the kingdom of God.
Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask that the Prince of Peace’s Kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. The Prince of Peace assumed human nature to show us the path to truth, justice, charity, and liberty and to enable us to walk it. Let’s pray at the end of this Advent season, preparing for the Christmas season on Friday evening, that the Prince of Peace reign in our hearts and in the world, enthroned in a manger on a cold night in Bethlehem.
May the Prince of Peace bless you with his peace in the Christmas season and 2022.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
Author, Maximizing the Mass