Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila’s prayer intention for January is for peace in the world, especially in Ukraine.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others. Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another” (Rom 14:17-19).
In a biblical sense, peace aims at total well-being, harmony between nations, and harmony between people and each individual with God. In the same way that Christ entrusted the proclamation of the Kingdom to his disciples, “As you go, make this proclamation: The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 10:7), we also assume this ambassadorship of his Kingdom and must accept the mission, in turn, to proclaim his Kingdom boldly to our world by embodying righteousness, peace and joy.
But what is the Kingdom of God, and how do we know when it is among us?
Peace is the fruit of justice, and therefore peace brings joy. Peace and joy are also fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us in the beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9). While Jesus is referring to every human being, more directly, he is referring to his disciples, who, by Baptism, have received adoption as children of God. Therefore, our mission as adopted children is to become peacemakers on all levels. By understanding that peace is a characteristic of the Kingdom of God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit, we discover that justice is necessary for there to be peace. For without peace, there is no joy in this world.
Let us pray that the Kingdom of God reigns in the hearts of all humankind. That is why it is so essential for all of us to join in prayer with the intentions of our Archbishop of Denver for January. I invite you to visit Jesus Christ, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, and present this intercession before him, the Prince of Peace, our source of peace, the one who has come to tear down the walls of hatred, so that we can all live in harmony, without wars or discrimination. At this time, let us pray for peace in the world, particularly in Ukraine, that the governments of these countries in conflict will work for justice and peace and give their citizens and the world the joy we all desire.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.