See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace!
Where, in God’s name, are we?
As I write this reflection, the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, dominates the news. In fact, over three dozen people were shot to death across the country on this our national holiday. The shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, are fresh in our thoughts. And, we learn every day of more atrocities in Ukraine.
The prophet Nahum lived in the turbulent 7th century B.C. The announcement of peace in today’s first reading follows the fall of Nineveh and the tyrannical regime of the Assyrians. Nahum exhorts his fellow Israelites. “Go celebrate your feast days!” Oh, that we could celebrate even one day of peace.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard himself lived in turbulent times. He experienced civil unrest, violence, and the suppression of religious communities while serving in Lyon as a Marist religious. There is that story of a mob seizing Father Eymard, intending to throw him into the river, until someone recognized him and shouted, “No, that’s Father Eymard. He’s a friend of us workers.” As he never hesitated to go into the dangerous slums of Paris years later, Father Eymard fearlessly walked the streets of Lyon during those turbulent times.
Father Eymard saw the world as it was. He had no illusions about the darker side of humanity. Yet, his deep prayer life and faith in Jesus allowed him to look the world in the eye and respond with the gift of his love – a love born out of a growing belief that we see and taste in the Eucharist divine love in the person of Jesus.
And so, we summon our own faith, hope, and love during these challenging times. May we bring peace where we can and to everyone we meet today.
Let Us Pray:
O Lord, make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow your love.
Where there is injury, let me sow pardon. Where there is doubt, let me sow faith. Where there is despair, let me sow hope. Where there is darkness, let me sow light. Where there is sadness, let me sow joy.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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