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Blessed are the Peacemakers

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9). This statement challenges us to live in a way that brings peace. To understand this better, we need to distinguish between peacekeepers and peacemakers.

Peacekeepers vs. Peacemakers

Peacekeepers aim to maintain harmony by avoiding conflict. They often avoid addressing deeper issues, hoping that tensions will subside on their own. While this approach can keep things calm on the surface, it doesn't solve underlying problems.

Peacemakers, in contrast, actively engage with conflict to resolve it. They work to understand the root causes of discord and seek to address them directly. Peacemakers aim for real and lasting peace, even if it means dealing with difficult situations.

Peacemakers promote genuine resolution by addressing the root causes of conflict, mirroring Jesus’ approach to healing and reconciliation. This leads to stronger relationships grounded in trust and understanding, reflecting the love and unity that Christ desires for His church. Moreover, peacemakers strive for justice, knowing that true peace is rooted in fairness and equality. This commitment to justice echoes Jesus’ ministry, where He consistently uplifted the marginalized and challenged societal and religious injustices.

A Blessing to the Nations

Jesus’ blessing on the peacemakers is a call to engage with the world’s conflicts actively. Being called children of God means reflecting His character by working for peace rooted in justice and compassion.

In today's divided world, the need for peacemakers is great. Each of us can influence our environments—whether in our families, communities, or workplaces—toward greater peace. It starts with small, intentional actions and grows into a way of life.

As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers, reflecting the Gospel in our words and actions. Here’s how we can take concrete steps to become like Jesus and practice peacemaking in our daily lives.

  1. Embrace Humility: Jesus taught us to be humble and gentle in heart. Peacemaking begins with humility, acknowledging that we do not have all the answers and being open to understanding others’ perspectives. By valuing others above ourselves, we create a foundation for genuine dialogue and reconciliation.

  2. Seek Reconciliation: Jesus came to reconcile us with God, and we are called to pursue reconciliation with others. This means addressing conflicts directly and compassionately, seeking to restore relationships rather than win arguments. It involves forgiveness, letting go of grudges, and making amends where possible.

  3. Rely on Divine Power: Prayer is essential in peacemaking. Through prayer, we seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, wisdom, and strength to navigate challenging situations. Praying for those we are in conflict with also softens our hearts and opens us to God’s transformative power.

  4. Practice Active Listening: Just as Jesus listened to and understood the people He encountered, we too must practice active listening. This involves truly hearing others without interrupting, judging, or formulating a response. It’s about validating their feelings and experiences, creating a space where peace can flourish.

By embodying these principles, we become peacemakers and reflect the Gospel in our lives. Peacemaking is a tangible expression of living like Jesus, bringing his Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In what ways are you called to courageously build peace in the world around you?

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