In recent weeks, we continue to hear the news about violence throughout the world. Islamic State has taken credit for the killings in Paris. Korea's demonstrations against the government for its education, and labor policies was met with violence to stop the demonstrators. A past president of a diocesan Catholic Farmers group was struck by a water cannon and injured seriously, and is hovering between life and death.
In a Column of the Peace Weekly, we are asked what should be our attitude in the face of all the violence we see in the world? We have been given at baptism the mission as prophet and what does this require of us in this present reality?
We will not arrive at peace in the world with a few people of good will acting righteously; it is a task for all of us. Popes have made it clear that peace is the work of all, and we will not have it without justice.
From the first, we were created to enjoy the gift of peace. In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us: "Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!"
Jesus' teachings are clear. "The precondition for peace is the dismantling of the
dictatorship of relativism and of the supposition of a completely
autonomous morality which precludes acknowledgment of the ineluctable
natural moral law inscribed by God upon the conscience of every man and
woman. Peace is the building up of coexistence in rational and moral
terms, based on a foundation whose measure is not created by man, but
rather by God (Pope Benedict's Peace Message for 2013).
This desire for peace is not a dream or a Utopia. Not just a wish we have but a real good we work to achieve. Consequently, Christians have to work against all kinds of injustices, and work in solidarity with all movements for the common good. We have to resist all kinds of selfishness, violence, greed, thirst for power, and structures that breed hate and injustices: working on the side of the weak for their rights and dignity.
Peace we all know is not something we achieve quickly nor merely a distant ideal, but something with daily little steps, we persistently and gradually work to realize: difficult though it be. In the fragmented society in which we live, working to realize this peace is carrying out the mission we have received from Jesus at baptism. And we start with ourselves.