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Gospel Living

From Pope Francis

Pain is an unavoidable, but it need not be self-inflicted.  When Jesus said ‘the poor with be with you always’, he was challenging those responsible, not a predicting an inevitable future.  Prosperity comes from peacebuilding at all levels of society.  This is the surest antidote to the growing epidemic of war and poverty.  Peacebuilding requires the greatest courage, as it involves encounter people of differing interests and negotiating toward a common good.  We are seeing in real time the consequence of putting ourselves and our side, first.  As Jesus warned an eye for an eye can only make the world blind.  Building a resilient culture of peace and prosperity necessitates a recommitment to the plight of the most vulnerable, the poor and dispossessed. 

In a shrinking world, the pursuit of war to further national interests and the exercise of the death penalty to ensure public safety must finally be repudiated.  We must confront the lust for greed and power which motivate such acts of violence.  “Forgiving does not mean forgetting.  Those who truly forgive do not forget.” (Fratelli Tutti 250-1)   And yet, today the resources for resolving differences and reduction of violence are plentiful.  Social techniques taught in the schools of restorative justice allow opposing sides to face the worst kinds of injustice, without resort to escalating spirals of violence.  In this endeavor, Christians can surely take the lead.


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