Sunday, September 11, 2011

Acts of Peace

     Today marks the 10th anniversary of the fateful events of America's experience on Sept 11, 2001.  Recently the press and television have been filled with stories to remember these events and recount their impact on the lives of individuals and our national history.  All of us have deep emotions related to events of that day and the changes which since have occurred.  But I'd like to direct our attention to another aspect of that event - an opportunity. 
                        With all actions of violence, there are RE-actions.
Will our reactions be characterized by hatred, revenge, fear and withdrawal or will we be able to RE-act in a PEACEFUL manner. 
      For Christians the example of Jesus Christ is clear; he did not raise his fist in a return of violence to those who struck, spit and nailed him to the cross...and why not?   He followed God's plan.  God has a plan to perfect and transform this creation and bring it into ultimate and eternal presence with the Divine.  And the pathway of this divine plan is "paved with PEACE"...not violence and hatred.  So you see, every act of violence carries within itself the OPPORTUNITY for PEACE.
     I want to challenge each of you to become more of a PEACE-MAKER today and in the near future.  The United Nations has established an International Day of Peace on September 22.  This effort is a positive REACTION whereby individuals and organizations can create practical ACTS of PEACE on this shared date.  This year's Day of Peace has been expanded in reflection of the events on Sept 11.  The United Nations calls all humanity to participate in a special period of 11 days to mark greater emphasis toward GLOBAL UNITY and PEACE which can be expressed by our prayers and practical actions in 11 vital areas of human life.
                      Improved social unity
                      Global social and cultural interdependence
                      Humane economics
                      Health issues
                      Human rights
                      Women's rights
                      Children and youth
We are called to be more active as PEACE-MAKERS during these 11 days between Sept 11 and Sept 22.  Will our responses to the events of Sept 11, 2001 be reactions of anger, distrust and withdrawal  or will we react by words and acts of love and peace?
                  P...pray for peace.
                  E...everyone's responsibility.
                  A...all creation desires to be in harmony.
                  C...create an opportunity each day to express
                          your peaceful presence toward others.
                  E...eternity is filled with will
                          you help create more of it for everyone?

St Francis always greeted those whom he met by announcing to them..."the peace of God be with you".  May this also ring true in all our thoughts and actions.