September 4

Reflection

The world envisions peace as the absence of war. The vision of shalom is far more embracing than that. It reaches into the very nature of God’s bond with creation, with our human nature and the nature of the universe. The peace to which we are called is the vision of a reconciled world where there is justice, harmony, and love. Shalom is God’s gift to humanity. The God of shalom is the God of hope. We do not work toward this shalom alone but within the human community. It includes all and we experience it through relationship. To live shalom involves personal commitment and self-sacrifice. It requires not only personal but communal courage, wisdom and justice based in love. Jesus ministry to the oppressed and marginalized, his inclusion of the excluded, his ministry of healing, his concern for
the poor and hungry are all witness to his mission of reestablishing God’s will for shalom in a world in chaos. Shalom and love are interconnected. It is the peace experienced by those who live caring, just and courageous lives in the human community.
Adapted from Martin Buber

Prayer

May the peace which is beyond understanding fill our hearts and our minds.

Action

Consider how you can help create justice, harmony and love in your own circle of family, friends and community. How can you include the excluded and promote justice and healing?

Suggested Reading

What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened.
John 14:27

Shalom is understood to mean peace, but peace is only one part of the word’s real meaning. The root shalem means completeness.
Celso Cukierkorn

Peace is not a result inside us from everything around us. Peace is not submissive nor passive. On the contrary, peace is an overwhelming force which comes from within us, disrespectful of everything around us, a firm coalition of spirit and soul standing against all the unrest that abounds.
C. JoyBell C

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
Mahatma Gandhi

What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children . . . not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.
John F. Kennedy

Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.
Dalai Lama XIV

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
Black Elk

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Mother Theresa

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