“They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent.” Mark 9:33-34
The song says: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” What could be simpler—or more profound?
This Tuesday, people the world over will celebrate the International Day of Peace, an initiative of the United Nations General Assembly. In pronouncements and special events, nations of Good will be encouraged to strengthen the ideal of peace by observing 24 hours of non-violence.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis often talks about “a culture of care” that emanates directly from our relationship with God—something he calls a privileged path to peace. “In many parts of the world,” says the Pontiff, “there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds.” Then he puts the burden on each of us: “There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.”
Are you up to the task? I hope we all are. Conflict and struggle are inevitable when one side, or one person, must prevail over another. It took the apostles a long time to figure this out. But once they did they became great missioners. So if we need a guide to peacemaking, I suggest the teachings of Our Lord himself. Jesus understood that peace can only be achieved when the weakest and most vulnerable are protected and valued.
Friend, we don’t have to transform the whole world. Just ourselves. When we act out of love and compassion, when we build communities that accept and care for one another, we become the peacemakers that Jesus called us to be. And that’s when the world can’t help but become more just, more inclusive, more respectful… and more a reflection of the image of God.
So as the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…” That’s when we will have done our job.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 3rd Sunday
O Risen Lord and Prince of Peace,
on the morning of Your resurrection
You showed Your wounded hands
to Your disciples and greeted them
by saying, “Peace be with You.”
Give us that truly blessed peace
the world can neither know nor give:
not the absence of war or conflict,
but Your presence, O God, in our hearts.
Be the still point in our ever spinning world,
the calm in our storm and the blessed silence
in the midst of deafening noise.
Fill my heart to overflowing with Your mercy,
love, and peace that I, in turn, might share Your blessings
with everyone I meet.
Lord, may all nations beat their swords into plowshares,
their spears into pruning hooks.
Show us the way of forgiveness and reconciliation
that leads to You and the Promised Land
spoken of by the prophets of old.
May Your peace cover the world as water
covers the seas, and let it indeed
begin here and now with me.
Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.