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For all the years of our marriage, my husband and I have displayed a cardboard sign that reads “God’s Peace Be in This House” above our kitchen door. Whenever it catches my eye, I add “and in our hearts and in our world” to this simple prayer.
There’s a very real need for peace in our hearts, homes, and world! The number of those struggling with mental illness has risen dramatically since the start of the pandemic. The strain of growing inflation on already tight family resources leads to added marital and family stress. The ongoing attack on Ukraine and the many other circumstances of oppression, injustice, and violence in our world lead us to cry out for peace in our time.
Yet in Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus says he came not to bring peace but division. I see some of that division on social media feeds as my husband and I choose to “hide” or “unfriend” certain family members because of their hateful and divisive posts. This reminds me that Jesus was popular only in some circles. In other circles, he was feared and eventually given the worst kind of criminal’s punishment—death on a cross!
While we pray and work for peace, let us also stand firmly for what is right, just, and true. Those qualities are found in Jesus Christ. May we, his followers, faithfully imitate him in thought, word, and deed.
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