In his homily for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, Archbishop Richard Smith also referenced January 1 as the World Day of Peace. He said Mary teaches us that peace can be attained by the simple yet challenging word "yes."

"She said yes to God's plan as revealed by the Angel Gabriel. She said yes at the Cross as that plan reached agonizing fulfillment in the death of her Son. From early on she taught others to say yes, when for example at Cana she told the stewards: "Do whatever her tells you." This is what she says to us, too, who long for peace: Do whatever Jesus tells you to do. Of the many commandments Jesus has given us, one in particular is now coming to the fore: 'Be merciful, as your Father is merciful'.

"2016 is declared by Pope Francis as the Jubilee of Mercy. Mary teaches us that the path to peace is to say yes to mercy. When families say yes to mercy, when communities say yes to mercy, when nations say yes to mercy; and, therefore, say no to bitterness, hatred and violence; when we say yes to our need for God's grace to make us merciful, then we will know real peace."

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