Friday, February 29, 2008

Blessed are the Peacemakers ........

I have volunteered to share a short reflection in on of my church groups regarding the Beatitude "Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God" from the good book of Matthew....chapter 5 verse here goes for all the world to see - keep in mind I am no theologian, just an everyday advanced maternal aged Catholic mom a work in progress.

When I think of PEACE, instantly the Prayer of St Francis, learned in grade school pops in my mind.....and I actually start humming the tune....darn that tune, its stuck in my mind now. So I am now singing.........but the tune is based on the words written by the original Franciscan himself....

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Wow, they should re-name the song Make Me a Channel of Your Peace to The Impossible Dream.....but I suppose that one song title is taken and copywrited.

In the prayer and song, we are asked to change the hearts of others... to lift them up, to give them forgiveness when we have been hurt, to comfort and give hope when all seems dim.
We are also asking that the attention and ministering be taken off of us and ***SHOCK*** that we are given the power to do the consoling, loving, and understanding of others. WHAT????? Isn't life today all about what I want and about me being right.....

When Jesus was telling those people Blessed are the Peacemakers, I think he was challenging us to a total mindset change. Its about MAKING peace, so much more than just loving or praying for peace - though these are nice qualities and its a good thing to pray for.... I guess at the time within the context of the Beatitudes audience, many just thought it could have referenced those trying to keep the peace with the Romans whose rule they lived under. I bet living in peace under those circumstances when you weren't one of the "in" crowd was very hard. Heck with the election going on in these times right now, its sometimes hard to live in peace with our friends and neighbors whose views often differ ours.

Jesus reminds us blessed are the peace MAKERS......these are the ones who are Children of God. The ones who MAKE peace. Its about more than just coexistence without getting violent or arguments. Who DOESN't like a little peace in their lives? I mean come on, how hard is it to say, "I am FOR peace". Aren't most people FOR it, but what is really hard about living this beatitude is getting off our butts and doing something about it.

From Wikipedia...
Peace can be a state of harmony or the absence of hostility. "Peace" is used to describe the cessation of violent conflict. Peace can mean a state of quiet or tranquility — an absence of disturbance or agitation. Peace can also describe a relationship between any people characterized by respect, justice, and goodwill. Peace can describe calm, serenity, and silence. This latter understanding of peace can also pertain to an individual's sense of himself or herself, as to be "at peace" with one's own mind.

To sum this up, those that are Blessed and are called children of God, don't just think peace is nice and quietly ask God for peace......they do what they can to preserve the peace in their lives AND spread it to the lives of others. They MAKE peace through conflict resolution with friends and family and coworkers; they not only promote respect, justice and goodwill and are bold about it; they aren't troublemakers or gossipers or people who promote discourse; they work to restore the peace when it has been disturbed; they recognize the need to share the peace in others lives and work at it......for God gave us His son who did all of these things and more for us.

Well that is how I see it tonight anyways......

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