God's gift of Peace - Shalom - gives assurance that all is right in your soul, even if you can't resolve all the issues affecting your life or predict the outcome of anything at this point. God's peace provides comfort in knowing that God is still in control.
What is the World Day of Peace?
World Day of Peace, celebrated on January 1 every year, is primarily a Catholic feast day dedicated to universal peace on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. The theme of the feast has always been about creating a culture of care, stressing the need to care and share tolerance for each other, and to create a society that focuses on the common good. The benefits of a peaceful society have been the emphasis of every year’s World Day of Peace (health and wellbeing physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.)
Pope Francis Message for the World Day of Peace at this link.
“Our greatest and yet most fragile treasure is our shared humanity as brothers and sisters, children of God. None of us can be saved alone.” New Year message 2023
First Reading on 1 January is from Numbers 6:22-27
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
(Peace can be given in 3 ways:
Peace with God is the reassurance of our faith that Emmanuel God-with-us, offers us the ultimate ‘Peace of mind.’
Peace of God is the calm centre in ourselves in the midst of storms.
Peace with others is the stillness we possess when others could agitate us.
Homily Studio podcast
Listen to the Homily Studio for a conversation on the scripture readings for 1 January available at this link from Monday 26 December.
A selection of Prayers for Peace
Pope Francis recited this Prayer for Peace at his weekly general audience March 16, 2022.
Composed by Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples
Forgive us for the war, Lord.
Lord Jesus, son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
Lord Jesus, born under the bombs of Kyiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, dead in the arms of a mother in Kharkiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, in the 20-year-olds sent to the frontline, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, who continues to see hands armed with weapons under the shadow of the cross, forgive us, Lord.
Forgive us if, not content with the nails with which we pierced your hand, we continue to drink from the blood of the dead torn apart by weapons.
Forgive us if these hands that you had created to protect have been turned into instruments of death.
Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother. Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue like Cain to take the stones from our field to kill Abel.
Forgive us if we go out of our way to justify cruelty, if, in our pain, we legitimize the cruelty of our actions.
Forgive us the war, Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, we implore you to stop the hand of Cain, enlighten our conscience, let not our will be done, do not abandon us to our own doing.
Stop us, Lord, stop us, and when you have stopped the hand of Cain, take care of him also. He is our brother.
O Lord, stop the violence.
Stop us, Lord.
Short daily prayer for Ukraine
Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
Lord, we ask for peace for those who need peace,
reconciliation for those who need reconciliation
and comfort for all who don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Lord may your Kingdom come, and Your will be done.
More Peace Prayers at this link
Let us pray that it is not just knowing about peace but living it out.
And, may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all.
Kia tau ki a tātou katoa,
te atawhai o to tātou Ariki o Ihu Karaiti,
me te aroha o te Atua,
me te whiwhinga tahitanga
ki te Wairua Tapu.