MISSION MATTERS: Peace to People of Good Will
In a few days, we will sing once again the Gloria. We will joyfully join the choir of angels celebrating Christmas morning, and we will pray for peace to people of good will. After the end of a busy school year and the equally busy preparations for Christmas that seem to have occupied much--most--all?--of our time of late, we all need peace: Peace in our world, peace in our family, peace in our own hearts, our own lives.
The angels' hymn, though, reminds us that we have to be ready to receive this gift of peace; we need to be people of good will. This usually means that we need to be much less self-centered and much more selfless, more concerned about the welfare of others. Most people find that this comes more easily during this season. Some people find it difficult, regardless of the season. They're just not ready.
We begin to think of the happiness of our family and friends as we shop for their gifts. Or we experience a warm sensation when we take a little time and put a little change in the kettle of the bell-ringing Santa. Or we find ways to give more to people who have less than what we have been given. So, maybe many--most?--of us are, and even feel as if, we have good will during this season.
But it seems we can watch this warm unselfishness disappear as quickly as the needles from a tree, or the batteries in a new toy. We all seem to revert to who we were, who we want to soften, to change, to be more and better than...people not really ready, maybe...
You know, maybe we don't ask for enough. Maybe we all need to ask God to leave us just one more gift under our trees, the priceless gift of less selfishness. Maybe we need to ask God to help us change ourselves into people who live this season every day, and not just for an all-too-brief season, every year. Maybe we need to be people who are more grateful to God, every day, for the love He has given us, the many blessings He has given us, the priceless and incomparable gift of Jesus. Maybe we need to pray with all the urgency and sincerity we can muster that we become real people of good will, that we may have peace in our hearts in all times, that we want to share it with others, throughout the year.
Maybe we need to pray to be ready to be people of good will...maybe...
Merry Christmas, and peace to people of good will!