“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” is an important lesson from Matthew 5:9 for all of us. Since today is Memorial Day in the United States where we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in the line of duty for their country, I wanted to honor them, by honoring the peacemakers. The peacemakers save countless lives of those in service and civilians who find themselves in harms’ way. Pope Francis is on such a mission as of this writing.
Pope Francis is on a quest to the Middle East and has been an ambassador for peace. He goes without shield to visit leaders, people and places that have been at odds with each other. He does not condemn, but by example and by where he visits, sends a statement of let’s break down barriers to talking and interactively working together. He has invited leaders of Palestine and Israel to the Vatican to meet with him. Each has accepted the invitation. He went to the wall in Bethlehem that separates people and prayed. He visits with people and talks with them, openly and honestly. He disarms them with his congenial spirit and persona.
The pope has a mission that we need to help those in need and living in poverty. Poverty comes from the absence of opportunity. Opportunity is often squelched by war, which does not permit commerce to occur. Opportunity is lost by the absence of free trade between people of all types. Opportunity is lost by those who steer dollars into the mechanics of war or into their own pocket. If we can begin by treating each other better, by conversing and then trading commerce with each other, then some of these barriers will come down.
And, that will help us in our quest to memorialize fewer soldiers (and civilians) who may die in the future. Bless you, Pope Francis.