So many have longed for the year 2020 to be over, to move away from the pandemics that have wounded us collectively and individually. With 2021 on the calendar now, it feels like maybe, just maybe, we can start anew at some point. Given the chance, we, along with all of creation, have the capacity to renew, that is, to be “new again”—not only each year but each moment. An essential ingredient to renewal is peace. The Church calls us to follow Christ, the Way of Peace, as Pope Benedict said on this day in 2007, “with hearts full of hope, notwithstanding the dangers and difficulties that surround us.” Let us pray for and choose peace for ourselves and for the world in all that we renew this year.


Compassionate and Loving Father,
In the face of confusion and concern impart to us the calm of your presence.
In You allow us to find hope and healing.
Be with those who serve the sick and give them Your caring hands.
Be with those who lead and give them Your Spirit of wisdom.
Be with those who have fallen ill and give them Your comforting heart.
Wrap your arms around our world and hold us in your love.
Allow us at this time of trial to then serve as instruments of your love and peace.
We ask this in Your Name. Amen.