One of wishes everyone has somewhere in their mind on Christmas Eve is the wish for peace, the kind of peace promised by the angels St. Luke mentions in his Gospel story of the first Christmas. Shepherds were watching their flocks when an angel appeared, reassured them, and told them of the Savior's birth - "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Ever since, people have looked to the stars on Christmas Eve and thought about the angels and their message, and hoped for peace. Even in the trenches in France during World War I, when in 1914 English and German soldiers shared Christmas greetings and songs across no-man's land, finally climbing out of their trenches on Christmas Eve to exchange presents, shake hands and enjoy the peace that Christ brings for a little while, before heading back to the trenches and to war.
Christmas has that effect on people. It soothes the hurts, and makes our differences seem small and petty when compared to the great gift we all share. We open our hearts to each other, and feel the peace coming in.
We wish all our readers the gift of peace this evening and in the coming days. May it follow us all throughout the year.