In the film Miss Congeniality, less-than-graceful FBI agent Gracie Hart is sent undercover as a contestant in a beauty pageant to prevent a bomb threat from being carried out. During the pageant, each contestant is asked the same question: “What is the one most important thing our society needs?” Unsurprisingly, the answer each contestant gives is the same: world peace (directed by Donald Petrie [Warner Bros., 2000], 1:04:42–1:05:17). Though the predictable scene is meant as a joke, there is a note of truth that rings through that idealistic dream. When one year slips into another, the wish for peace on earth is on many people’s minds. But more than world peace, most of us long for peace in our own lives. When we think of peace, we tend to think of lack of conflict, but in the gospel we discover that it means something much more fulfilling.
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