If you come to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, go first and be reconciled with your brother. (Matthew 5:23-24)
“Come to the altar.” When we pray and seek a friendship with the Almighty, the altogether True and Good, we examine our consciences. We measure ourselves against the fidelity, kindness, and love of Christ. Then we realize: Yikes, I have offended my neighbors. I have wronged them in such-and-such way, at such-and-such times. I have not fulfilled God’s command to love my neighbor as much as I love myself. So I must “go and be reconciled.”
Easy. When I’m honest, humble, and full of trust in God.
Not so easy, when I’m the normal kind of obtuse, anxious, self-centered mortal that most of us are. A fearful soul who sees things only as they affect me, and who would rather eat dirt than sincerely apologize for anything.
The Lord Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount by declaring peacemakers blessed, along with the poor in spirit, the meek and merciful, the clean of heart, the zealous for justice, those mourn the sins of the world and do penance.
Like I said: Making peace is easy, when your heart harmonizes perfectly with the Heart of Jesus Christ. But reaching that kind of harmony with divine love requires the spiritual battle of a lifetime. The constant renunciation of self; daily meditation on the true meaning of life; constant practice in honest communication.
The World Cup tournament can help build international peace. And the highly televised Singapore summit earlier this week. Let’s hope for the best. The greatest force for international peace is, of course: intermarriage and child-bearing.
When Serbs marry Croats and have Serbo-Croat babies, and Bosnians marry Hungarians and have Bosno-Hungarian babies, and Tutsis marry Hutus and have Hutu-Tutsi babies, and Germans marry Slavs and have Germano-Slavic babies, and whites marry blacks and have tan babies, and Latinos marry Italian-Americans and have babies who look like Selena Gomez… we wind up in a good situation.
The grandparents simply cannot order the grandchildren into war against each other when those grandchildren are literally brothers and sisters.
Maybe we need to encourage our American children to marry Canadians at this point. To avoid a re-eruption of the French and Indian War…
But the most important world-peace-making work of all involves: getting my self reconciled with God and His truth. Getting myself reconciled with myself. If, by God’s grace, I can make a true, enduring peace with myself, then I can make peace with anyone.