Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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Prince of Peace

By | December 19, 2012

At the time of Jesus’ birth, there was an order of King Herod to slay the innocent (boys 2 years old and younger) so that there would be no threat to his reign by a newborn King of the Jews (Mt 2:16-18). Herod was afraid of the threat of a 2 year old who would bring peace and truth to the world. The Son of God is truly a newborn king and the Prince of Peace. This is proven over and over again in the lives of human beings who respond to a relationship with Jesus Christ by opening themselves to the peace of Christ. What if the assailant of the innocent on Dec. 14 had somehow been able to connect with the Prince of Peace? What if he could have had peace of mind and soul?

During the Advent season I have been preaching in all of my liturgical opportunities about the need to remember three actions during this season. The first action is “simplify your thought life.” Be aware of the thoughts you keep. Are you often keeping thoughts of anger and hostility? Are your mind and heart at rest or are you over stimulating your mind through all kinds of external means, but not really communicating with yourself or anyone else?

The second action is “simplify your external surroundings.” Is your space so cluttered that you cannot be at peace with where you spend your time because you are pulled in a multitude of different directions by all the stuff around you?

The third action is “simplify the clutter within your own soul.” Make sure you go the sacrament of reconciliation and that you are giving the Lord plenty of time and attention in your life. Make sure you are giving your spouse and family plenty of attention. We know neither the day nor the hour when God will call by name someone we love. Make sure your children know you love them and provide the best you can for them without spoiling them.

As you gaze at the crèche or crib scene, ask yourself: Am I ready for the Prince of Peace? Is my house fit to welcome the most powerful King of all — who came as an innocent child, as one who serves?

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas as you welcome the Prince of Peace!

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