One of Jesus’ most famous sermons contained the following: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” What was Jesus getting at with that statement? Did he mean that we should avoid conflict, or walk on eggshells so no one gets upset? Or maybe he meant, we should just hide our feelings to prevent arguments. Pondering these questions, I came to realize that Jesus was asking us to become active participants in peacemaking. As I looked around me, I began to see too much anger, fear, and hate and where drug addiction, suicides and mass shootings were on an up-tick and hopelessness running rampant in the world. Realizing this, I asked myself: How in the world can I/we become peacemakers with such enormous negativity happening all around us? And, I silently questioned: What did Jesus expect us to do about it? Looking for help with these questions, I found in my local newspaper, The Tennessean, a brilliant article, “Finding the Lost Art of Peacemaking,” by guest columnist, Clay Stauffer. He writes that there are many ways we can all experience this lost art. He writes: A peacemaker must already experience the peace and presence of God in their own life; they have genuine love and concern for other people. A peacemaker spends intentional time every day in prayer and reflection; they work to build and sustain trust in every relationship. A peacemaker identifies and addresses conflict that may be awkward and uncomfortable but necessary; they seek first to understand others and their point of view. A peacemaker learns to control their temper and pays attention to body language; they choose their words carefully and speaks the truth in love. A peacemaker seeks to work towards resolutions and solutions; and they are not overcome or controlled by fear and anxiety. These things may be easier said than done, but the world desperately needs peacemakers. Jesus felt that over 2,000 years ago, the sages through the ages agreed, and presently, so do I. Maybe, just maybe, you and I can become a peacemaker by practicing, “The Lost Art of Peacemaking” with others. And through our efforts, we can make for a better, peaceful and loving world.
May God’s Peace Be Yours, Today, Tomorrow And Always!
~ Fran Cosentino, AFSI Bursar/Registrar