Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

As you are aware, I’m sure, every time we listen to the Scripture readings for our liturgy, we should do that within the context of what’s happening within our personal lives, in our community, our world, so that we can hear God’s word and reflect on it in a way that helps us to determine how we should react to what’s going on.

building peaceAnd I must confess that these Scripture lessons are very important for me because they give me a hope, a sense of what can happen even out of evil, out of hatred and violence and destruction. Something good could happen, but we have to listen, and to follow the way of Jesus. At first, then, I was filled with sadness this week because, as we all know, once more, we’re going to war again. Well, we say we’re going to be bombing, and we’ll just send some troops in to train those who can fight on the ground, but that’s how we got into Vietnam. And that’s how we’ve been getting into every war ever since.

My sadness reminded me of Pope John Paul [II] — St. John Paul now — during the last year of his life, the last international trip he made just a few months before he died when he was suffering so terribly. And we all remember seeing him suffering from the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. But he went to Spain, and a reporter wrote about his first evening there, when John Paul was speaking to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of young people…

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