Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 08, 2017
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings of the day: RB 7:59Mass: Isaiah 5:1-7; Resp. Psalm 80; Philippians 4:6-9; Matthew 21:33-43

Saint Paul offers sound advice, namely, “Do not be anxious at all,” while encouraging us,” Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.”
With his words in mind, herewith Sunday’s musings:
I regularly hear people pray for peace, and for peacemakers. Such prayers cause me to pause and think. A few questions come to mind, none of which I claim to have the answers for. First, what exactly is being prayed for? Second, what is peace? Third, just what qualifies someone to be a peacemaker?
Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians, tells us: In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, we are to make our requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew (10:34), though, we hear Jesus tell us that he did come to bring peace upon earth. Instead, he came to bring the sword, pitting one against another. In the Gospel of John (14:27), we hear Jesus say: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
Peace abounds in the Word, yet I am still perplexed. This is a way I see it. Why shouldn’t I be troubled, afraid, or anxious? Because Jesus Christ, the Word, became flesh and dwells among us. Peace is all pervasive, for “Christ is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). When I receive the Eucharist, I receive peace. This makes me not just a peacemaker, but a bearer of peace. I bear Christ who himself caused so much division that he was rejected and put to death. Yet Christ overcame death and rose to new life. With Christ, we experience war, division, suffering, and violence. But we are peace bearers and with Christ are raised to new life.
It seems to me, then, that first, we pray for a peace that the world cannot give. Second, I have difficulty articulating just what peace is as Saint Paul says, “the peace of God surpasses all understanding.” Third, we are not peacemakers but peace bearers. I cannot make peace.
What follows is another way to pray for peace:
Please God, grant us the grace to produce peace, a fruit of the Holy Spirit. This is the peace that will guard our hearts and minds in You. May the God of peace be with us all.
I have chosen you from the world says the Lord, to go and bear fruit that will remain.ALLELUIA.(Gospel Acclamation, Mass)
October 08, 2017 Back to Lectio Divina
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