EG 229: Christ is Our Peace

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis Evangelii Gaudium

229. This principle, drawn from the Gospel, reminds us that Christ has made all things one in himself: heaven and earth, God and (people), time and eternity, flesh and spirit, person and society. The sign of this unity and reconciliation of all things in him is peace.

I’d say the point of this is not that Christ is God and so is able to supernaturally balance these things in a way that mortals cannot. But rather, Christ has endorsed the principle of union. And so we are shown the way.

Christ “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). The Gospel message always begins with a greeting of peace, and peace at all times crowns and confirms the relations between the disciples. Peace is possible because the Lord has overcome the world and its constant conflict “by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20). But if we look more closely at these biblical texts, we find that the locus of this reconciliation of differences is within ourselves, in our own lives, ever threatened as they are by fragmentation and breakdown.[Cf. I. Quiles, S.J., Filosofía de la educación personalista, Buenos Aires, 1981, 46-53] If hearts are shattered in thousands of pieces, it is not easy to create authentic peace in society.

Another essentially Ignatian reflection. We look at the cross, not as spectators, but as participants. We examine our own hearts through the Lord’s experience of brokenness. We ask for inner healing and inner union, and so are able to perceive strands in need of healing with others.

This is essentially why the modern approach to peace, an imposed truce from the outside, will never work. Hearts, especially hearts conquered and suppressed, will not be governed from without. Those who think it can be done are wallowing in self-deception.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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