International Day of Peace, September 21

Peace often proves to be elusive in this world. Violence, hatred, and anger seem to fill the news of the day leaving us keenly aware of the lack of peace in so many lives. In the midst of discord, people of good faith are called to work toward a future peace marked and brought about by the love of God.

International Day of Peace_prayerListen now to Psalm 67 which offers an image of a world marked by grace and harmony among nations. It is a vision of singing, light, equity, bounty and gratitude. It speaks of heaven in a way that is not far beyond our grasp.

Psalm 67
May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us,
that thy way may be known upon earth,
    thy saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise thee, O God;
    let all the peoples praise thee!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for thou dost judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise thee, O God;
    let all the peoples praise thee!
The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, has blessed us.
God has blessed us;
    let all the ends of the earth revere him!

Reflection
To speak of peace is to speak of something that is yet to be attained. It is a work-in-progress, but a work that can progress. We reach together for the reign of God because it is a future that begins with daily small graces.

Today, let us be aware of both peace and the disruptions to it, that we may be ever more present to the moments where we can bring about change.

Take a moment to reflect on the following:

  • Where am I being called to share gratitude in my life?
  • Where can I bring about God's light in the world?
  • How can I uplift those around me to build a more equitable world?
  • What do I have that can be given to those who have less than me?
  • What can I do to simply make the world more beautiful?

Closing Prayer
Adapted from Saint Pope John XXIII's prayer for peace.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are called the Prince of Peace; Our peace and reconciliation.
You, who so often said, "Peace to you"; Grant us peace.

Make us witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love. Banish from our hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples of the earth become as brothers and sisters, and the longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all. Amen.


Related Prayers