We seek peace in our life time. On a personal and social scale. We want to have this for our present as well as our future; for ourselves personally and for our children. We saw many attempts in the past made by politicians to secure peace, “Peace for our time” said Neville Chamberlain. But peace did not come, but rather one or the worst wars known thus far to humanity. Because of war we have terrible suffering, even in places quite remote from the centre of conflict: The Halifax Explosion 1917, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Manchester and Dresden. Civil Wars through the ages and most recently in Syria, South Sudan, Sri Lanka.
So where do get this peace from? Can it be achieved only in ourselves or can our societies have this peace. We should really begin with ourselves. Finding inner peace and trust in God will begin a great process in establishing a reign of peace in our hearts and homes. That isn’t being selfish. That is just sensible. If we are not at peace in ourselves we cannot provide the same peace as an answer to others either. Can this inner peace be found even in the midst of the chaos of our lives? Yes. It may take time, but indeed yes, it can be found and held. It is something God wishes for each of us and our families. He wishes it for the world and its myriad of societies and peoples.
St Augustine wrote about finding this peace when he wrote about the Psalms: “Jesus Christ, the true Solomon, built a temple for himself. The name ‘Solomon’ means ‘Bringer of Peace’, and our Lord, the true Solomon, is the true bringer of peace, which is why the Apostle says He is our peace, who has made both into one. He is the true bringer of peace, who has taken two walls coming from different directions and joined them through himself, becoming the cornerstone that unites them”
So the beginning of this peace (for us and for the world) begins with the Bringer of Peace. Just as at Christmas we celebrate the coming of the Christ child we also hear the words given to the shepherds. The simple shepherds were the heralds of the good news that we, all the world, would have peace in this one Child. “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” (Luke 2, 14). The answer therefore is not as complicated as many make out. It is simply in the Child, in the Wisdom found in Him. Are we listening to that Wisdom? Peace will come when we truly listen; when we act on that Wisdom.