Reading today’s news I could see where on the eve of a truce Hezbollah had fired 450 rockets into Israel and Israel also seeking to gain an advantage had put more troops into southern Lebanon. Will this sort of peacemaking work? Of course not. It’s simply more of the same. It’s another way of hitting back. I believe the message of Jesus is about radical forgiveness and acceptance. Someone has to absorb the blows of the other in order to end the cycle of violence. They will get hurt in the process because everyone gets hurt in real fighting. My point in relating the story about myself was to illustrate the personal anguish that I endured, often to the point of anger with myself, to stick to my own principles of non-violence. We can’t have His peace until we are peace. That peace came as the result of a community process of sharing and great personal pain.
As Jim Forest states in his web article on peacemaking, “Among the things that Christ did not say in the Sermon on the Mount is, “Blessed are those who prefer peace, wish for peace, await peace, love peace, or praise peace.” He blesses the makers of peace. He requires an active rather than passive role….Unfortunately, for most of us peace is not the Kingdom of God but a slightly improved version of the world we already have. We would like to get rid of conflict without eliminating the factors, spiritual and material, that draw us into conflict.”
If you’d like to read more of what Jim Forest has written in Blessed are the Peacemakers follow this link.