For Lent this year, we have asked eight sisters and associates to reflect on the Beatitudes and offer ways in which we may embrace these blessings in our own Lenten journeys. There will be additional reflections published for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Easter.
By Mavila Mercedes Esteves Arévalo, Mercy Associate
With this Beatitude, Jesus invites us to be peacemakers, in order to be called daughters and sons of God. But what is peace? It is a calming virtue and a connection between peoples, which is built and fostered by each individual. For this reason, this Beatitude calls us to work on changing our lifestyle and relationship with the whole universe, with our partner, our family, our mother and father, the leaders of our communities, our peers, with creation as a whole and also with ourselves.
This invitation to change has the specific aim of human beings coexisting harmoniously, respectfully, justly and supportively. It also calls us to restore lost or damaged relationships, to regain our old ties, to heal and heal ourselves, sowing hope and recognizing our shared responsibility for building this world of peace and mercy for which we so yearn.
Jesus calls us to sow peace, to develop skills aimed inward, because the root of evil is inside people. That is why everyone must work to become calm, fraternal and just individuals in order to make the change, and only then will we be recognized as daughters and sons of God.
He invites us to be peacemakers in our daily lives, in the ordinary and simple things, serving and committing ourselves to work for the sustainability of this planet that is our giant home, to care for it and serve it; to reduce violence in all forms of its expression against all human beings of any age, be they man, woman, girl or boy; and to eliminate violence by being examples of life. He urges us to dismantle the abusive and controlling racism that creates barriers between human beings. He motivates us to develop respectful behaviors and recognition of others. He challenges us to contribute to and invest our efforts in empowering women and girls, so they may enjoy a dignified life and truly be citizens of the world. He also encourages us to improve the situation of migrants by being empathetic, considering them to be our brothers and sisters—daughters and sons of the same father/mother God.
He calls on us to build peace from wherever we are, from whatever we can, participating in our family and in the many communities of which we are a part, as it is these people who advocate for and contribute to building a better, more just and merciful world, where the rights of all people are respected.
According to the teachings of Catherine McAuley, we should not consider our journey as peacemakers to be a sacrifice, a suffering, but rather a sublime commitment to the impoverished of the world, because in this way, we are serving Jesus himself. We will be better peacemakers if, right now, we are more empathetic, supportive, loving, humble and friendly, and if we are sources of hope, warmth, wisdom and kindness, with a gentle piety and compassion for the impoverished. If all this is reflected and recognized in our behavior, we are a living example, just as Catherine was.