by Fr. John Dear, SJ
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
In Seattle on Thursday night, I spoke about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount commendation: Blessed are the peacemakers. Jesus was a peacemaker, I declared, and anyone who claims to be a Christian has to become a peacemaker. Every Christian church should be a community of peacemakers. Every Christian university should be a school of peacemaking. Every Christian minister, priest, bishop or servant-leader should be a public, visionary peacemaker.
We’re called to be not war-makers, but peacemakers. That’s what life is about — making peace with ourselves, one another, creation, all creatures and the Creator. And we’re called to be peacemakers because we’re all sons and daughters of the God of peace. That’s the punch line from the Sermon on the Mount.
So why is peacemaking so rare? Why do war-makers abound and profit? Why does peacemaking have such a bad name? Why do we not encourage one another to become nonviolent peacemakers? Why are peacemakers so ostracized? Why do so many people hate peace?…