Good morning to all you peace makers gathered in this hall, coordinators, planners, guests and participants.
It is an honour for me and my companion Sisters, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, to participate in this event.
Do you believe that “Peace is a human right”? What is your reaction to this question? When I was asked this a few months ago my first response was one of shock as I had never been asked nor had I ever thought about this before. Today I stand here to tell you that YES, my Christian Faith and Practice compels me to believe Peace is a human right but also compels me to take responsibility to actively live this belief and to be an instrument of peace.
Why have I come to this conviction? Because of who I believe I am and also who we are! Scientists and the new cosmology – the story that tells how our universe has developed and reveals our unique place in it affirms and resonates with the heart of Christian spirituality. All creation has come about through a single cosmic event. Our Scriptures tell us that from this primordial ‘flaring forth’, God saw all the potential God had set in motion and exclaimed that it was good. God went further, “Let us make humans in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves” and then said, “Indeed this is very good.”
We have come to know and believe in a God who created our evolving universe because God’s essential nature is Love. The best name we know for God is love and each of us is God’s love gift to the world. Can we therefore not conclude that all creation has as an essential part of who we are something of God’s DNA? Just as we bear some image of and likeness to our human parents so we bear some image of God, our very DNA is found in God, and we have the potential to grow into the likeness of God’s ways. We further believe it was for the love of all created beings that Jesus was sent into the world that we might learn of God’s love for us and that he might show us how to live ‘The Way’ of love.
Bear with me as I ask you to put your hand on your heart. Feel the beat of God’s love for you; God’s DNA in you. Let love grow sturdy roots in your heart. My prayer is that you may come to know God’s unconditional love for YOU and every other person no matter nationality, creed, colour, race or belief. Do not doubt your own basic goodness. In spite of all confusion and fear, you are born with a heart that knows what is just, loving, and beautiful. In words of Pope Francis taken from his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’: Despite all our limitations, - gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love.’ We can be instruments of peace.
So do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. Brokenness can be mended with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them will change both you the makers and your destination.
Our loving God impels us into the heart of the world to be persons of peace, hope and love.
May all our choices have a loving intent. AMEN
May we act toward others and the world with a loving intent AMEN
May our motives in all we do and are, come from a loving intent AMEN
May how we live our lives be a way the universe shows its loving intent. AMEN
May the Holy Spirit show us how what is happening to us today fits into our spiritual journeys. AMEN
May we believe Peace is a human right and we have a responsibility to actively live this belief. AMEN