Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where Do Wars Come From?

"Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions."
- James 3:16—4:3

I'm convinced that the lectionary readings, those chosen by the Church for the liturgy, are inspired. This Sunday's reading sinks perfectly into the space in our hearts that is now an open wound; that space where the specter of war clamors.

God gives us what we need just when we need it. James goes straight to the heart of things in today's second reading. We learn there that no treaty or ceasefire, no program or policy can end the violence in our world. Only a conversion of our hearts can do that. Only the turning of our face towards the Face of the God of peace can bring real peace. That's it. Nothing else will do.

Our turning to grace, our opening up to Love, our letting go of the weapons of war, is the only way.


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