Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:9
According to Fr. Daniel Harrington, S.J., “The background [of this Beatitude] is the Old Testament ideal of shalom as the fullness of God’s gifts. In following Jesus, we are required to actively pursue peace.” Matthew Henry comments thus: “The peacemakers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. If the peacemakers are blessed, woe to the peace-breakers!”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his bestselling book, “The Cost of Discipleship”, said “THE FOLLOWERS of Jesus have been called to peace. When he called them they found their peace, for He is their peace. But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it. And to that end they renounce all violence.” Through this Beatitude, Jesus reminds us that PEACEMAKING is the business/vocation (calling) of God’s children. God’s children are peacemakers. James 3:16-18 tells us that, “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Paul gives more advice on this subject in Romans 14:19: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” The apostle entreats us to lay aside the causes of contention so we can live in harmony. Believers must watch the human ego in each and every one of us. It is proud. It feels it has to win, be vindicated, and if possible, elevated over others. These attitudes do not make peace. It is our responsibility to make for peace. True peace is the good news of reconciliation and the end of the conflicts, distresses and woes of our warfare.
How do I become a peacemaker? To become peacemakers, we must begin with ourselves. We must ask ourselves, “Why do I make demeaning remarks about them?” We must also ask ourselves, “What causes my resentment toward that person?” or “Why do I continue to nurse hurts by that person instead of forgiving them? What is it that causes me to be envious or jealous of that person?” We need to deal with the sinful passions of our own hearts before we can deal with conflict of any kind with others. In truth only when I have become poor in Spirit, mourn over my sin, truly meek before God and with respect to other people, truly hunger and thirst after righteousness, merciful toward others and have singleness of heart toward God that I can be truly a peacemaker.
Acts 4:32-37; Ps 93:1abc.1c-2.5 (R.1a) Accl Jn 3:15; Gosp Jn 3:7b-15 WEEKDAY OF EASTER
1. Lord Jesus, You said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Aid us to make peace in our families, in our country, and in the world. Amen.
2. Pray that the peace of Christ will reign in families, towns, organisations, institutions and nation that know no peace.
3. Take the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi in DSD, Section A.
Exercise: To be a peacemaker, you must stand up for truth, justice and forgiveness.
Meditation: Hebrews 12:14.