Thank you for the following reflection and prayer provided by Padua's own Campus Ministry. And be sure to visit our Peace video available on our Facebook account
Today, September 21, is designated by the United Nations as the International Day of Peace. Here is how the UN describes the impact of this day in our current reality:
"In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.
The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. By April 2021, over 687 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 100 countries have not received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare.
The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them: the virus attacks all without caring about where we are from or what we believe in. Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another."
The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.
Let us pray with the words of Rev. Liberato Bautista,
God of history—holy, divine, eternal, ever present, ever abiding—we come to you today seeking your guidance on how to truly embody a just, peaceable and sustainable world.
It is the world you envisioned for all peoples, the planet and the entire cosmos. It is the world we seek and want to live in. It is the world of justice, peace and sustainability that our religions have prayed for, to happen here on earth as it is in the heavens and all the realms.
We come to you on this International Day of Peace cognizant that our longing for peace and justice mirrors the dreams of sages past and the admonitions of the prophets of old. We pray that we may “shape peace together” as our theme invites us to.
We pray to you to bless us with a world as announced by Prophet Micah (4:4), where “Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear.” It is a world in which the affirmation of life and life-giving processes triumph over death and death-dealing forces.