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Called To Continue Our Journey As Peacemakers

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CALLED TO CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY AS PEACEMAKERS.

By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

 

The NATO Conference in Chicago has drawn much attention to the need for change from a culture of war to a culture of peace. Based on the proposed budget for 2013, billions will be spent for continuing the war in Afghanistan, expanding the missile defense system and other war-related efforts. The results would be reduced funding for education, health care and other basic human needs. Public opinion is very much opposed to choosing such a direction. Their hope is to remove the dangerous nuclear weapons from Europe that can cause catastrophic accidents, bring the wars to an end as soon as possible,  find alternative ways to solve global problems,  and direct the funds to address human needs.

 

During the Summit, President Obama and other NATO allies declared that the end of the Afghan war is in sight and that it would end in December 2014.  This will require long-term commitment to make a smooth transition and to train local people to take over effectively. As people committed to peace, we are encouraged to speak out clearly and boldly against such a massive build-up of money spent on weapons of war and destruction. We recall the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower who said: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, and every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and have no food, are homeless and are cold and without clothing…”

 

Our Mission is to create a culture of peace. We sing a song that reminds us: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” The ground floor for peace is forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Jesus shows us a wonderful example of forgiveness as he was hanging on the cross, dying and praying for his murderers: “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” When we pray the “Our Father”, we ask, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Forgiveness is central to the life of a believer.

 

How do we go about forgiving?

 

First, it is a decision we must make, a choice of the heart, the opposite of harsh judgments and revenge which we need to let go of and replace them with thoughts of peace and reconciliation. Then draw on spiritual resources to help us move toward forgiveness. We need to pray for and be open to using this gift. Think of the generous forgiveness God has for us and give thanks. Look at the obstacles we may have,   such as wounded pride or our inability to get our own way, that may hinder us from forgiving.

 

Look at the benefits of forgiveness in our own lives and in our communities and in our world. We can do nothing about what has happened in the past. Our experience of forgiving someone can help build a better future for oneself and also model for others the benefits of forgiveness. We cannot control how other people respond but we can choose our own path regardless of how others respond. I have known people who destroyed their

lives by holding on to grudges from the past , and they have no peace until they allow a forgiving heart to govern their lives.

 

What role does forgiveness play in breaking the cycle of violence in our homes, our families, our communities, nation and world? We need to model and teach  forgiveness as a way of life in our homes, schools, neighborhood and wherever we are. Many schools and organizations are now teaching conflict resolution skills as a way to prevent more conflict and aggression.  

 

Where have you seen forgiveness at work that produced positive and healing results?

 

The search for healing and forgiveness can only be accomplished by God’s grace. May that grace fill our minds and hearts and spirits and lead us to true forgiveness. All of these efforts will help us confront evil with the Gospel message of Jesus and work

toward the construction of a just and peaceful world. It will help us teach a different way of solving life’s problems and replace the culture of violence and war, hatred and revenge with a culture of justice, love and peace.

 

May we join with others in thought, prayers and action to create a new vision of global security and peace.  “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Through our hands and hearts, help us be the Shalom of God, wherever we go.

 

Some good resources on peace are Peace Action Center, 414-964-5158 or info@peacactionwi.org.  Another is Fellowship of Reconciliation at www.forusa.org 845-641-3648


Preaching Essay Archive

Just click on an Essay title below to read it.
(The latest submissions are listed first.)

• The Journey Through Lent •
• A New Year - A Time To Choose •
• Called To Continue Our Journey As Peacemakers •
• CALLED TO NAME •
• CHOOSING HOPE IN TIMES OF DARKNESS AND CHALLENGE •
• Easter: A Call To Renew Our Faith •
• Fan Into Flame •
• Grieving Our Losses •
• IMAGINING A RE-EVANGELIZED CHURCH •
• The Importance of Inter-Religious Sharing •
• THE PROMISE OF EASTER –“ THAT ALL MAY HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT IN ABUNDANCE.” •
• Are We Living In Pentecost Times? •
• Living With Gratitude and Hope •
• “Lumen Fidei” – the Call and the Challenge •
• What is the "New Evangelization"? •
• Pentecost •
• PRAYER OF PREACHERS •
• Inculturated Liturgy Challenges Preaching to Flower •
• Preaching Lent - Year C •
• Preaching Luke •
• Preaching Mark •
• Reflection - Psalm 127 •
• Reaching Youth Today •
• The Need To Reclaim And Live With Moral Courage •
• The Sacred Triduum •
• STRENGTHEN OUR HOPE TO REPAIR A BROKEN WORLD •
• Welcoming the Stranger •
• Working for Peace •

Blessings on your preaching.


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