“Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” ― Fr. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
Gospel Text: (LK 9:51-56)
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.
Jesus sets out for Jerusalem. The name “Jerusalem” literally means “city of peace”. It’s there that Jesus will be condemned to death for our sins, and from there led to Calvary, a hill just outside the city limits. Calvary is that speedbump that there’s no detour around. This is the only way that leads to our destination: the Father’s city of eternal peace, the heavenly Jerusalem.
As Jesus heads resolutely to Jerusalem, the City of Peace, He knows that His vocation is to bring peace to each human person. Peace is often, unfortunately, not commonplace in our earthly lives. You and I may not face the sort of persecution that the martyrs have, but we never seem to have a lot of peace in our lives. Nonetheless, Jesus at the Last Supper said, “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you”. Where is this peace in our lives?
Every day God calls us to follow Him. If we worthily receive the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist, He will strengthen us at every “now” of daily life. He wants us to accept the spiritual strength we need to cultivate the virtues of human life, to more closely follow Jesus, and to experience every single day the peace of our heavenly Father.