FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle A/Year I (January 29, 2017)
Zep 2:33; 3:12-13/1Cor 1:26-31/Mt 5:1-12
NATIONAL BIBLE SUNDAY
There is a story about a policeman who made a difference. He said: “As a police officer, I frequently see people who are involved in destructive conflict. Enforcing the law helps to prevent worse damage, but I’ve been frustrated by my inability to help people find lasting solutions to their conflicts. This is changing since I completed your training. I’m now finding that my work as a police officer provides an exciting platform for ministry. When I was transferred into a new department three weeks ago, I learned of a conflict that had been going on between two co-workers for over five years. It was so intense that it was affecting the entire department. So I began to pray that God would use me to make peace. He answered that prayer more dramatically than I expected!”
Peace is what any person wants to have in his surrounding and in his life. Peace is not simply the absence of war or conflicts. It is more of the presence of good things in the person. It is the peace within oneself when there is unity within oneself. It is achieved not only when a person is in harmony within oneself and with others but most especially when he is in harmony with God. In fact, it is the harmonious relationship with God that gives him the capacity to be in harmonious relationship with others and with himself.
But the blessing mentioned in the Gospel, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9), is not for peace lovers but rather for peacemakers. To receive blessings from God, it is not enough to desire and love peace. Rather, one has to make an effort so that there may be peace in the earth. The policeman who underwent training in Peacemakers Ministry applied the teaching of Jesus Christ in his work. He prayed to God and discerned how he could be an instrument of God to bring peace to others especially to those who were in conflict with one another.
As Christians, our mission is to bring peace to everyone. Judging and condemning others even though they may be criminals or sinners will not bring peace within the community. What can bring peace is the peace that is being shared with us by Jesus Christ. The risen Lord has empowered us to bring peace to others when He greeted and gave us His disciples with peace right after His resurrection, saying: “Peace be with you” (Mk 24:36).
To bring peace to others we need to do something good to others like what the policeman did. Within our working area, our home, our recreation place, we must look for opportunity when we can bring the peace of Christ. To bring the peace of Christ is simply to share Christ with them by helping them to know Jesus and to live His teachings of love, forgiveness, kindness and humility.
As we celebrate the National Bible Sunday, let us ask the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary to discern the Will of God by reading the Bible especially the Gospel so that we may not only find peace within ourselves but also be empowered to bring peace to others.