One of the most magnificent engineering accomplishments of our time is the Large Hadron Collider. The figures on this structure are staggering. A tube 4+ meters in diameter (in some places as tall as a 6 story building) 27 km long, constructed 50-175 meters below the surface. The other equally amazing stats can be found at:
The magnitude of this structure is amazing. The complexity is way beyond my comprehension. Even more amazing is that it worked when they started it. Yeah, I know, it blew a gasket shortly afterwards, but still ...
In the shadow of this magnificent accomplishment, we are facing some of the biggest challenges we have ever faced individually and as a race. Challenges that have the potential to destroy us. Why is it that we can create a marvel like the LHC, a marvel that took 20 years to build, yet fail so miserably at engineering a lasting peace?
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”. (Jn 14:27 RSV) We repeat this verse in some form each time we celebrate Holy Communion. It is a central part of Catholicism, a central part of the gifts we receive in the eucharist.
In Jesus’ words, peace is not something we have to struggle for; it is God’s gift to us. If we already have it within us, why then is peace so elusive?
As Christians, we believe that through the Holy Spirit, there is within all of us the ability to center our thoughts and feelings in peace so powerfully that we are not moved by conflict. This is the gift that Jesus has given us. It is the same gift that was given to Daniel as he faced the trials of his captivity.
Yet, as a whole, we do not use the gift. As a whole, we do not have peace in our families. We do not have peace in our communities. We do not have peace in our congregations. Why?
Jesus was very specific in John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.
Jesus was a peacemaker. We are commanded to do the works he did, and even greater works.
I offer this post today as an opportunity for all who read it to take some time to reflect. Why is peace such an elusive quality? What can we do today so that peace truly begins with us? What can we do today so that we fulfill John 14:12?
What can we do today that will make a difference.
It only takes one voice to change the world.