The achievement of a natural peace--absence of conflict--is only possible through a natural justice: "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth." Such an ethic of tit-for-tat, hurt for hurt, by means of scapegoats is the only recourse of the world. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presents a new ethic capable of achieving true peace and justice, only by grace: gratuitous self-giving, even to enemies, so as to win them over to what is right and just. Christians today have many opportunities for such self-giving by contributing to the cause of justice in the world, albeit in a Christian manner and according to Christian principles. This holds out the promise that those who would otherwise despise Christian values and faith, in general, might discover a new openness to hearing the gospel. But it requires graced courage and creativity for Christian disciples to engage the world such self-giving. Let us pray for this grace today!
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on June 15, 2020, Monday of the 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time