Blessed are the Peacemakers… 29Jan2017

Looking out over the American landscape the last couple of weeks leaves me with a disheartened view of our human condition. Jesus died and rose from the dead to make us partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4). What must our Heavenly Father think as he looks upon His creation and sees the venom being spewed forth on all sides—vicious serpents reaching out to strike their brothers and sisters with a poison intended to debilitate, maim or sour the other’s life without ending it—leaving the other with a living death. Lord have mercy on us!

It’s easy to point the finger. On the one hand we have a new leader who seems to respect no one and is capable of dehumanizing anyone, including the very manhood he purports to represent. On the other hand women in large numbers gather with over-the-top anger and foul language that disfigures their very life-giving dignity and serves only to widen the chasm of dissent. All of this is counter to the beatitudes in today’s Gospel.

Who are the poor in spirit, the ones who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness or the meek? Is Jesus referring to me? Poor in spirit refers to the humble, who have a healthy fear of the Lord. To mourn and to hunger and thirst for righteousness is to recognize the injustices of the world. Meekness is not weakness. To be meek is to have a strong, quiet, godly inner strength that exhibits itself when necessary. Maybe I can identify with these but Jesus’ next beatitudes are most challenging.

Who are the merciful, the clean of heart and the peacemakers? If I am full of hate and venom for others how can my heart be clean and merciful? If I constantly judge, criticize and condemn how can I possibly be an agent for peace? When my brothers and I would fight, my dad would remind us that it takes two to tangle but only one to end it. We need peacemakers: women and men with clean hearts who can douse the angry flames of rhetoric with mercy. This is the hard part because Jesus does not address His discourse to others. He points the finger directly at you and me.

Deacon Richard

 

2 Responses to “Blessed are the Peacemakers… 29Jan2017”

  1. Deacon Henry Concha

    To paraphrase President Gerald Ford after Nixon’s resignation; “Thank God our eight-year national nightmare has ended.” Never before in the history of our nation has an administration divided this country by race, ethnicity, gender, class, and religion. Never before has an administration persecuted Christians and especially Catholics, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, by denying religious freedom. Never before has an administration severely punished business people who in their good faith wanted to remain true to their beliefs. Never before has an administration, with word and deed, subvert the meaning of marriage. Never before has an administration attempted to dissolve what God has created, namely, that we are born male and female. We should pray for our new administration which seems to be starting off on the right foot by respecting life, and not forcing people of good will to pay for abortions. We pray that that this new administration be guided by God to respect human dignity. All this we pray in Jesus’ Holy name, Amen!

  2. Deacon Gil Rael

    As a chaplain for the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility in Larned Kansas, I was grateful to both Deacons Richard and Henry for their responses to Sunday’s Gospel.
    One inmate has, on several occasions, commented, with others agreeing, that considering all the distress and struggles we face in our communities today, they are safer than we are. After all, who would contemplate causing harm to them? They have nothing for anyone to gain.
    We must always regard every human as equals with innate dignity. The Beatitudes help to teach us that!

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