During the Christmas season, when we use the expression “peace on earth,” we reduce it to a platitude, an absurd, utopian ideal where one day everyone will magically hold hands and get along—and then we congratulate ourselves for endorsing our correct view of how the world should work. We do this all the time with all our pet political issues. In doing so, we find ourselves, not on the side of God, but on the side of the Caesars, standing in the line of an endless procession of philosopher tyrants who imagine all the people a certain way and then march on them to impose their will.
When the angels in Luke shout peace on earth, they have no such issue. They are at peace because they have taken themselves out of the equation, and, as I just said, neither they nor the shepherds have any issues. No ideals. No agendas. Nothing of themselves to impose. Just something of themselves to give to the cause of their’s Master’s command, which puts everything in order, silences every voice, and establishes peace on earth. In the Gospel of Luke, it’s the exact same mechanism of peace as Caesar’s, with a much different outcome.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 2:15-20
Episode 461; Luke 2:15-20
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