On The Road To Peace A Monthly Newsletter from Fr. John
By Rev. John Dear
These days, I invite us all to think about and talk about the Kingdom of God. I know, what does that have to do with anything? I think it's the only thing worth focusing on---far more important than Trump or what the media has to say about Trump
It's Lent, and Jesus calls us to "repent" because "the Kingdom of God is at hand." What does that mean for you in your day to day life? I think that's a critically important question for each one of us, for our souls, for the world.
For me, it means trying to live as if I were already in the Kingdom of God. Of course, I set off each day with good intentions and then quickly blow it, like everyone else. Nonetheless, the Christian journey for me is getting ready for eternal life in the presence of the God of peace and love.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus put it this way: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and God's just, and everything else will be provided for you."
Gandhi once wrote that "the Kingdom of God is nonviolence." I find that provocative and helpful. In God's presence, there is no violence, no killing, no war, and no hatred. There's only peace and love.
As Kingdom of God people, then we try to renounce violence, hatred and war, in all their forms, to only live in universal peace and love.
That requires daily prayer, daily meditation, daily Eucharist (if possible), daily nonviolence, daily loving-kindness, forgiveness, and good works. In this time of a new tyrant, it also means speaking out, joining the ongoing protests, and doing what you can to resist the culture of violence, racism and war. (Thank you for continuing to support my group, www.campaignnonviolence.org).
That's why I joined the protest on Jan. 17th at the U.S. Supreme Court against the death penalty. I went back to D.C. last month to stand before the judge in D.C. Superior Court. While 12 of the 18 of us will go ahead to trial, I was sentenced to a strict 6 month probation, including many hours of community service, which I will do at the St. Elizabeth's men's shelter in Santa Fe, NM.
Meanwhile, I keep on traveling the country, speaking out for peace and nonviolence (the Kingdom of God!) and writing on these great themes.
Thank you for doing what you can for peace and justice, and seeking the Kingdom of God first and foremost in your life! We are greatly blessed!