What Makes for Peace


Thursday of 33rd Week of Ordinary Time

Dedication of Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul

Rev 5: 1-10; Lk 19: 41-44

Dc. Larry Brockman


“If only you knew what makes for peace”.  Such were Jesus’ words as he prophesied the fate of Jerusalem.  In their blindness, the people of Jesus’ time did not recognize the Messiah.  They were looking for someone who was powerful and mighty in worldly terms, someone who could negate the coming military defeat of the Israelis, as if defeating the Romans on their terms would  “Make for Peace”.  And that’s the point.  It would not make for peace.  Establishing a powerful, worldly, kingdom that could subdue all opposition with force. will not make for peace.  And that has been demonstrated over and over again in the history of the world- China, the Mongols, Persia, Greece, Rome, the great Moslem Califates, Great Britain, Nazi Germany, and even the United States have proven that point over and over. 

So, what is it that we all need to recognize that makes for peace?  Well, that’s what Jesus came here for.  His Gospel provides us the roadmap.  It is a peace which is characterized by belief in God as the primary value.  It is a peace which is characterized by love of others, not of self.  It is a peace which is characterized by a focus on seeking and finding the will of God, not comfort in this life because all things, even the great temple of the Jews, will pass away in this world.  And the clearest example of our fragility, is that each of us, no matter how powerful or weak, rich or poor, talented in earthly skills or not- will pass away too.  What is left is the Kingdom of God. 

Our challenge as Christians is to live our lives worthily, making every effort to do God’s will,  While we live in a physical world that demands that we have food and shelter; that we have jobs and raise families and use our God given talents;  at the same time we must keep our focus on the ultimate goal, a spiritual goal- life in the Kingdom of God.  It’s called balance- and it precludes envy, lust, gluttony, and all the other seven deadly sins, because the focus of them is not on our ultimate goal- a primary focus on recognizing God’s presence in our lives  That is what makes for peace. 

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