Overview – Peace
Focus Text: John 14:8-17, 25-27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Pastoral Reflection by Father David McBriar, O.F.M., Ecumenical Officer, Diocese of Raleigh
As I write (August 10, 2006) war is raging in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and the Occupied Territories. Killing continues in Afghanistan and the Sudan, and the United States and Britain are on heightened alert for a terrorist attack. We are living in a society which believes that our safety can only be achieved through domination, or others will seek to dominate us first. The world is not at peace. Moreover, on the home front, our cities continue to be torn by racial and economic discrimination. Is a living wage possible? Is health care for all possible? These are human issues and as such they claim our individual and our communal response. If we are to fulfill our vocation as believers, as faith filled people, our churches and synagogues and mosques must ask: “What does the city need? How can we help?” We can’t be paralyzed by the magnitude of the task.
Personal Vignette by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
After returning from Iraq, we moved to Durham, North Carolina to start a house of hospitality in the summer of 2003. We said we wanted to try to practice in our daily lives the love we had seen in Iraq. So we called our little experiment the Rutba House. What we do here day in and day out is hardly as dramatic as rescuing enemies from a roadside while bombs are falling. But the drama of Rutba was not the important thing. What mattered was the gift of love. We’ve tried to find ways to shape our community life together around receiving and sharing God’s love.
U.S. military spending exceeds spending by the next 45 countries combined. It is 5.8 times greater than China (2nd highest), 10.2 times higher than Russia (3rd highest) and 98.6 times greater than Iran (22nd highest). U.S. military spending accounts for 48% of the worlds total military spending.