The greatest hunger of humankind is peace.
That means a peace that is not simply the absence of war – but so much more, the absence of violence in all of its forms. Now this sounds like so much abstract theory – and in a sense it is. At the same time, it is very close to each and every one of us, for the cornerstone of all peace is in the realization of the worth and dignity of every human person and of the sacredness of all human life. Men and women of faith believe that life is a gift from God, the Creator of all. No one person has more value than an other and indeed, in our great nation, “All are created equal”.
Yet there is so much that pushes back against this simple tenet about human value and equality. Inevitably, it is our own self-interest devoid of a greater vision of life and God’s plan for us all. So powerful is this self-directed interest that I believe we can only get beyond it by a very conscious choice to ask for God’s Grace to enlighten us about God’s view for all of humankind. The longing for peace, among socio-economic classes, ethnic groups, races, languages, religions, cultures, and all the rest is useless unless it leads us to prayer.
That sounds pretty stern – yet I think peace, true and authentic peace, in homes, cities, borders, and between nations and all peoples is ultimately a gift. Humankind can only reach the capacity for peace as we reach for God and see the value of all life, and recognize the justice needed to bring peace. I think we need to pray.
Our prayer needs to be very intentional and genuine – we need to implore our God for the gift of Peace. There are no armies, social programs, developmental agencies or economic policies that will bring us peace in themselves. The energy for peace will flow from the hearts of all people as we look at one another and see the miracle and beauty that are our lives as God’s creation. Recognizing that, each of us needs to accept that these lives are simply too precious to ever experience and/or receive violence. Arriving there, by God’s Grace, peace is possible.
October is Respect for Life Month and Domestic Violence Month. And the Church chose October 7th and, apparently by extension, the month of October, to honor Our Lady of the Rosary. Please pray the rosary throughout the month of October for the dawning of a true and lasting peace; respect for all of life from conception to natural death, and for an end to violence in all of its forms so that all may live in harmony as God created us to be. And please consider praying for these intentions each and every day.
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 25/26, 2021
St. James warns us about accepting the standards of the world
and assuming that what is normative in society needs no countercultural challenge.
The temptation to hoard riches and make sharp bargains at the expense of the powerless is pervasive
because these things are generally done and look respectable enough.
St. James points to God’s judgment on these attitudes and actions
of amassing wealth and comfort at the expense of others.
How might we be better stewards of the material blessings we have been given?
How might we use our wealth with compassion toward others?