The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Dindo Santiago SVD – Japan
Monday 15th Week in Ordinary Time
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
“It is my humble desire to be the voice of the voiceless, who witness with concern and anguish the growing tensions of our own time: the unacceptable inequalities and injustices that threaten human coexistence, the grave inability to care for our common home, and the constant outbreak of armed conflict as if these could guarantee a future of peace. . . .To remember, to journey together, to protect. These are three moral imperatives that here in Hiroshima assume even more powerful and universal significance, and can open a true path to peace.”(Pope Francis, Hiroshima, November 2019, from Kyodo News website)
“I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” The Lord who is the model of active non-violence is not promoting war, nor is he calling us to get into armed conflict with each other. He emphasizes that his presence and message could stir up a feeling of opposition in a seemingly “peaceful” situation.
The powerful message of the Holy Father in Hiroshima is like waving his sharp-edged sword, prophetically representing the voiceless and victims of violence, and asserting his stand against the production and use of nuclear weapons so that the true path to peace may prevail.
This strong appeal is meant to remember the painful past and learn from it. At the same time, we remember that our vocation is a call from God; our action is an expression of our commitment to follow him, taking up our cross and giving up even the most valuable people and possessions in our life.
In the process, we resolve to journey together as brothers and sisters, sharing the joys and pains, the successes and failures, the pleasures and difficulties.
And as we surrender ourselves to God, we find true life, true peace, the true path to protect not only our own lives but to PROTECT ALL LIFE, the overall theme of the 2019 papal visit to Japan.