If You Want Peace, Work for Justice

Is 11:1-10 / Lk 10:21-24

It’s an astonishing fact that in the 2000 years since the birth of Christ there have been only a handful of years in which there was no war.  We yearn for peace, we pray for peace, but we rarely get it.  And that is not what God wants for us.  In today’s reading from Isaiah, we hear God’s vision of the world.  “The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.”

It sounds wonderful.  Why doesn’t it happen?  The answer for each of us can be found in our mirrors.  We haven’t learned the art and the habit of being peacemakers, makers and builders of peace.  Many of us are quite good at ducking or running away from conflict.  But that isn’t building peace.  On the contrary, running away generally leaves important issues unresolved, unhealed, and waiting to rise again in a more virulent form.  So what are we to do?

Pope Paul VI said it perfectly and so very simply, “If you want peace, work for justice.”  That’s what it means to be a peacemaker at every level of life.  It’s a noble work, worthy of us all.  And it’s a work that needs to begin now.