Peace: A timely message

Published May 22, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

WORD ALIVE

FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

One of the most important messages of the Lord in this 6th Easter Sunday gospel is “peace.” “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you,” he said to his disciples at the Last Supper (Jn 14,27).

“Peace” is a timely message in the country in the wake of the numerous poll-related violence, hatred, animosities as a result of vote-buying, disinformation, and reported alleged rigging of the voters counting machines (VCM).

* * *
Those with legitimate complaints and grievances should bring their cases to the proper authorities, especially the Comelec. The aggrieved parties have the right to speak out and file their complaints.

The Christian response should not recourse to taking justice into one’s hands or resort to vengeance. St. Paul said clearly, “Do everything possible, on your part, to live at peace with all people. Never take revenge.” “For the Scripture says, ‘I will take revenge, I will pay back,’ says the Lord’” (Romans 12, 18-19).

* * *
At home, there’s no peace when family members do not respect one another, like when children disobey their parents or when they ridicule each other’s opinion.
There’s a story about a young boy, who was doing his homework. He approached his father and asked:

“Dad, how do wars begin? The father answered, “Well, war begins when, for example, the U.S. attacks Britain; then Britain retaliates.

* * *
The mother, who was within hearing distance, suddenly intervened: “How can that happen? USA and Britain are allies!”

“But that’s just an example!” The husband growled. “And how do you expect a child to learn with wrong examples!” the wife shot back.

* * *
Irked, the husband replied, “But that was only an example…Why are you meddling? Would you shut up!” “You shut up, too!” the wife snapped. “What you’re teaching is wrong!” And the two launched into a heated argument.

The son raised his voice: “Papa, Mama, that’s enough! Now I know how wars begin.”

* * *
There’s no peace in a person if his or her life is a spiritual mess. There’s a woman who was carrying on a relationship with a married man. Her family and friends disapproved of the illicit relationship. Hounded by guilt feelings, she isolated herself, afraid to meet people.

But after much discernment, she got tired of her troubled life. She broke up with the married man and started a new life.

“You cannot imagine the relief I felt,” she confided. “I now experience genuine peace, tranquility, and joy.”

* * *
This applies also to people who commit grievous sins like murder, spreading fake news, doing abortion, graft and corruption. They may look serene on the outside but, deep down, they feel a gnawing remorse of conscience.

* * *
Finally, peace means contentment or, as St. Augustine puts it, “simplicity of heart.”

Envy lies at the heart of the absence of peace and of most unhappiness. Envious people never seem to be satisfied with what they have. We must understand that we cannot have everything.

* * *
Let’s all work for peace. Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

* * *
Help seminarians, sick indigents. A benefactor wrote: “Father. I would like to adopt a seminarian and help the sick indigents you’re supporting. This is my way of giving back some of the blessings the Lord has given me.”

May I appeal to others to “give back some of the blessings God has given you” by donating an amount for some “poorest of the poor” we’re helping or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for a year. For inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected]

 
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