Monday, 5 April 2010


Every day I make a point of catching a Newscast either on radio or TV. I hear of some form of violence -terrorism, armed conflict, domestic violence and street violence. Pictorial images, word descriptions, and my vivid imagination keep me aware of the physical and emotional pain that is life in the modern world. For some it is sporadic violence that breaks into more or less tranquil lives. For others violence and the threat of violence is the texture of their lives.

I think of the fear, the sense of insecurity, the longing for peace and the despair that this will never be attainable. Young children grow up with this. They have never known anything else. They are conditioned to perpetuate this. No wonder if this carries hatred and the desire for retaliation into the next generation.

I wish there were an easy solution to this dilemma of violence. Most times diplomacy and sweet persuasion fail to create an environment of peace in homes, on the streets, and in war zones. Such thoughts as these weighed heavily upon me during this season of Lent. I asked myself what is to be mywaygodsway to come to terms with this.

First of all, I must face the facts in their grim awfulness I take my lead from the two disciples making their way towards Emmaus....heart-broken, disappointed and disillusioned that their beloved Jesus, their hero, had been crucified. 'Our own hope had been that He would be the one to set Israel free,' (Lk. 24. 21).

And now I have recourse to the words of this same Jesus on the eve of the cruel death that He knew He was going to suffer. To the disciples he said, 'In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous. I have conquered the world,' (Jn. 13. 33). Are these trite words, or do they state the absolute truth upon which Christianity depends? Are they any help to me?

It is here that I have to make my own words those of St. John in his First Letter, 'This is the victory that has overcome the world -our faith.' (1 Jn. 5. 4). Faith such as that of St. Paul, when he wrote,
'Jesus is the peace between us, and has made the two into one entity and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, by destroying in His own person the hostility, that is, the Law of commandments with its decrees. His purpose in this way was, by restoring peace, to create a single New Man out of the two of them, and through the cross, to reconcile them both to God in one Body. In His own person he killed hostility. He came to bring the good news of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near,' (Eph. 2. 16-17).

I ask myself whether Jesus really can bridge the divide of hostility and alienation, which is to be found today in so many locations and situations? Can my faith overcome the world with its doubting despair that could persuade me that the present situation is so bad that not even Jesus could do anything about it.

My faith is this: Jesus is the Saviour of the world, the whole world -not just one people, not just one race, not even just one religious grouping. His universal Lordship embraces those who have never heard of Him, as well as those who do not believe in Him. His breaking down the barriers does not depend upon our belief He can do so, nor upon our praying that He will do so. By His power to save and reconcile, Jesus can change the hearts of anyone or everyone.
I believe that the Crucified and Risen Lord has the answer, is the answer. I do not know what He will do, nor when and how He will do it. But I believe and trust. That is mywaygodsway -the only way.
Peter O.P.

Next week Isidore will meet God by looking in a mirror.

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