This month we are praying that the gift Jesus promised us will spread over all the world. The Holy Father invites not only Christians to pray with us, but followers of other religions and all people of goodwill. We are praying for peace as well as for justice.
“Peace I leave with you, peace is my gift to you.” (Jn 14:27) The peace that Jesus gives brings serenity and freedom: The Hebrew word for peace, is shalom. In the translation of the bible into Greek it became eirene, which includes a sense of wholeness, completeness, success, fulfillment, harmony, security and even well-being. Still Jesus warned: “I do not give as the world gives.” His peace is otherworldly, and may await us in our heavenly reward. Still we labor here to establish the kingdom.
The Holy Father desires that his prayer intentions be directed towards “the challenges facing humanity.” As such they are of interest to people of other cultures, countries and even religions. The desire for peace and justice is deeply seated in the hearts of all men and women of goodwill and for this the Holy Father welcomes the cooperation of all.
What about justice, what does it look like? A wise Jesuit, Fr Earl Weis, SJ once challenged me when discussing social justice: “Are you talking about man’s justice, or God’s?” It was a great question and caused me to pray for justice on a entirely new plane. May God’s peace and justice reign in our hearts, be established here on earth, and await us in the kingdom of heaven.
Fr. William Blazek, SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA & Canada)