Peace the Angels Sang About

23 Nov

In the fields near Bethlehem … “Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Bethlehem is still not enjoying the peace that the angels sang about on that first Christmas night.

When we sing the Gloria at Mass, we begin, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.” We sing the hymn of the angels at Christmas.

Eman, a teacher in the Catholic school in Beit Jala near Bethlehem, was at St. Andrew a few weeks ago, with other teachers from Catholic schools throughout the Holy Land. Coming from the West Bank, from Jordan and from Israel, the teachers spent time with teachers from our school, learning together and establishing a partnership for continued learning together.

At Sunday Mass as we sang the Gloria, we noticed Eman looking up.

A teacher from Bethlehem looking up as the hymn of the angels is sung. Was she hearing the angels? Was she expecting to hear them? Was she thinking of the angels and their peace song? Was she thinking of her students in Bethlehem who long for the peace about which angels sing?

We did not ask. We thought it best to leave it between her, the angels and the Prince of Peace born in Bethlehem.

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