We are living difficult days and nobody can either deny or ignore it …
We all trembled on hearing the news of the successive attacks and recently the announcement of the atrocious death of Father Jacques Hamel, on the 26th July 2016… In his last message to his parishioners, he invited them to live their holidays to the full: « Some will reserve some days for a retreat or a pilgrimage; others will read the Gospel on their own or with others, as a word that gives life today. Others could be refreshed with the book of creation as they admire the so many different and magnificent sceneries which raise our spirit and speak to us of God. May we hear God’s invitation in this moment to look after this world, and render it warmer, more human and more fraternal wherever we are ... a time of encounter ... a time to be more attentive to others ... a time of sharing ... A time of prayer also: attentive to what is going on this world now. Let us pray for those who are mostly in need, for peace and for a better world together». A message full of humanity and hope.
Yes, injustice and violence in this world occur very often and it is costing the life to a big number of innocent people. We hear about it daily and it really disturbs us.
And yet the Gospel tells us not to answer violence with violence; if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. (Cf. Mt 5)
In our absurd time, in the midst of the tribulations that the world is undergoing, in Africa, in Europe, in the Middle East, we come face to face with a commandment which urges us to think differently and to be equipped with the logic of peace... When we reject the other, problems are not solved and when we close our eyes we cannot feel at ease.
Yes, death reigns and war exists but what is certain is that the Lord didn’t remain on the cross on Good Friday... he was killed, he was in the tomb, he experienced silence so that Life might flow and have the last Word.
With all the disciples of Jesus, with all men of good will, we cannot yield to hatred and indifference; we can resist by turning our cheek, by always holding a hand to welcome and to give ... to say and make peace.