As we stand on the edge of a new year, the reading from St. Paul to the Colossians this Sunday tells us to put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another…as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. St. Paul goes on to talk about peace, leaving us to wonder if that peace can be achieved through the litany of qualities that precede the talk of peace.
St. Paul’s words deserve our consideration always, but perhaps more particularly right now. With all the poverty, war, unrest, violence, starvation and a host of other ills in the world, what seems to be lacking are those qualities St. Paul lists, and the resulting peace.
How can we make a difference in a world with all these problems? Where do we even start ? What difference can one person, or even one community, make?
I don’t know about changing the world, but we can begin by changing ourselves, by paying attention to St. Paul’s qualities and trying to live them. Perhaps then, one person at a time, we can change our little corners of the world. And who knows, it might catch on…Happy New Year!