“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” (Col 3: 12-15)
Yesterday as I was walking somewhere in Vienna, I saw a poster that said, “What have YOU done for world peace today?” It made me think of Mother-Theresa’s well-known quote: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
The Apostle Paul gives a more precise description of the same idea; of the connection between love for the people closest to us and peace. He also adds gratitude, ending this passage with the laconic “And be thankful.”
I think a careful reading, and re-reading, of the passage above gives me a complete, charted-out plan for what I, personally, can contribute to peace in this world, in my little corner of it today. When I am confronted with small irritations, let me take a step back, “with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Let “the peace of Christ rule” in my heart, because it connects me to “the one body”; to the unity He intended, in Him. And let me be thankful today, for myself, other people, and things as they are, and not how I imagine or wish they should be.