Community + Justice + Spirituality + Young Adults
There were some really great conversations happening last night! I wish I could have split myself up and been part of each small group talk; unfortunately I can’t do that, so I was stuck with just the little bits that we shared as a larger group, which were fantastic! One of the things shared I found myself reflecting on when I was heading home last night, it was the line from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.” (CCC #2304)
Peace is not passive, it is not something that is there when all conflict and strife is absent, peace doesn’t just “happen” it is something that must be worked for. But where does it start?
I am reminded of another passage from the Catechism:
Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that “everyone should look upon his neighbor (without exception) as ‘another self,’ above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity.” No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in every man a “neighbor,” a brother. (CCC #1931)
In St. Luke’s Gospel we see a man approach Jesus, asking him how he can receive eternal life. It’s here Jesus tells one of the most popular (and if you want my opinion, one of the most profound) parables of his career, the parable of the Good Samaritan. Now I won’t go into the details of the story, suffice to say, the hero of the story was the Samaritan that was the cultural, social, political, and religious “enemy” of the Jews. It is at the end of the passage that we can see everything Christ was building up to. Jesus asks the man, “’Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robber’s victim?’ He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” (Luke 10:36-37)
If we want peace, if we want justice, it is something that we need to bring about. It won’t happen by luck; it can’t happen through any law or order from the government, nothing will happen by us sitting back and saying, “wouldn’t it be nice if…” True peace will only come when we are able to look at each and every person with dignity, for we are all created in the divine image of God (Gen. 1:27). By acts of mercy, respect, love, compassion, justice and charity will we be able to bring true lasting peace to our world, as Christ Challenged the young man we are challenged too, to “go and do likewise.”
- Peace be with all of you.