Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid…I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”
The Son revealed the Father and all that he commanded. Now, it is up to us to reveal the Son and all that he commanded. “Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom” (cf. Ps 145:12).
Peace is something we all long for. But how shall it be accomplished? The secret is revealed every time we come to the end of our day and experience a peaceful rest. Peace comes to us when we do the right thing, make a good decision and live a holy day. We know that peace requires an end to wars, which requires an end to divisions, which requires an end to sins; which requires grace. There can be no peace without grace. There can be no peace without courage, honesty, truth, righteousness and God.
Just yesterday I heard of the tragic hazing death of a Florida A&M student; a drummer who was beaten to death. The article I read stated that this type of hazing had been going on for years and that the Administration did nothing about it. Give me a break! Of course the Administration did something about it. They chose the wrong thing. They chose “tradition” over life; they chose “hazing” over “dignity”. And to the best of my knowledge, so did all the past and present students that have been hazed before. They chose to keep this tradition alive because no one had died. Doing the right thing would have been unthinkable… that is, until someone died. Now, everyone is up in arms over it. As I have mentioned before, we Americans are very good at acknowledging the horror of death. What we are not very good at is paying tribute to life.
This incident at A&M is a reflection of a wider problem in society. We know how to be reactive, especially when death is knocking on someone’s door. But when it comes to being proactive, we tend to be inactive. We’re good at sending people to jail or rehab. But we are not very good at keeping them away from jail or addictions. We’re good at saying “Yes” and “No.” But what we don’t do well is say “Yes” when we should and “No” when we should. We consider ourselves virtuous when we tell people “Do whatever you want”; “It’s a free country”; “It’s your body”; “I’m not going to tell you what to do”, but we are not very good at telling people what we should. We are good at keeping our nose clean. But we are not good at getting our hands dirty.
We know how to take a stand, but we don’t know how to get between someone and hell. So in the meantime, organizations like Planned Parenthood continue to freely operate between heaven and hell; promising heaven to our teens and delivering hell when they act their age. When their opponents try to do the opposite, they tell them to stay out of their client’s body, their client’s choice and their billion dollar business. How schizophrenic! How inconsistent and incoherent!
As society becomes less and less Christian and more and more secular, the new and superficial virtues get more and more attention. For example, the recent virtue of “tolerance” is fast replacing “justice”. The virtue of “acceptance” has become more common than “charity”. And of course, the meaningless virtue of “choice” has replaced “temperance”. What happened at A&M is a reflection of a growing trend among friends, and that is: stay out of their life, and how dare you try to help someone save a life.
But of all the new virtues to hit the streets, the so-called virtue of “choice” takes the prize.
Have you ever heard of a school that motivates its students to be pro choice? I don’t mean “pro-choice” as “pro-abortion”. I mean, simply, “pro-choice” as more choice-ful? What exactly does that mean? I don’t know of a single school that has a virtue campaign to encourage children to be more choice-ful. I know schools that encourage children to be more resourceful, respectful, peaceful and spiritual. I know teachers that pride themselves in teaching their kids to be more patriotic and more civil. But I don’t know a single teacher that awards their students for being more choice-ful. Do you hear officials encouraging children to be more “pro-food”? No. What everyone tells kids these days is to eat “healthy”, to be “pro-healthy”. We don’t tell people to breathe in the air. We tell people to breathe in “fresh” air. Teachers don’t teach their students to make more choices; they teach their students to make the “right” choices. And so the term “pro-choice” can only refer to “pro-abortion” since it is the only way it could ever make any sense. It is also the reason why the pro-choice movement is so incoherent, inconsistent and yet highly effective; because it is very dishonest.
All this nonsense originates from the concerted effort by secularists to avoid, at all cost, any semblance of right or wrong, good or evil, holy or unholy. It is our effort to avoid any resemblance to God. And because of it, we all look ridiculous. We make no sense. We cannot solve any of our problems; not at the national level and not even at the family level. We cannot resolve any issues, we leave them for later. We are polarized, divided, and at war within ourselves and with each other. And because of this, we can’t sleep at night. We find little peace.
The Lord doesn’t need to stay with us for there to be peace in the world. All we need to do is stay with Christ and there will be peace in the world.