30 September, Thursday — Peace is a virtue that accounts for goodness

Sep 30 – Memorial for St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor

St. Jerome (347-419) led a misspent youth. He later converted in theory, being baptised in 365, and then had a true conversion when he studied theology. He was a monk, and revised the Latin text of the Bible. The result of his 30 years of work was the Vulgate translation, which is still in use. He is a Doctor of the Church and Father of the Church. Since his own time, he has been associated in the popular mind with scrolls, writing, cataloguing, translating, etc. This led to those who work in such fields taking him as their patron – a man who knew their lives and problems.

– Patron Saint Index

Neh 8:1-12
Lk 10:1-12

“And if a man of peace be there lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you.”

Peace is a virtue, an enabling impact of grace in the mind and heart of a humane person. It lives in love from where it generates its abiding nature. And those who promote it are likened to God’s children. The impulse in peace is motivated by inherent and conscious activation of the spirit of harmony and patience. As a virtue, there are attendant attributes that join to propel it; they include justice, sincerity and frugality. In time of peace there is dew and freshness of acceptance and accommodation.

And when there is no peace, there is invasion of the mind, alterations and disruptions in thoughts, decisions and actions. What takes control is ill feeling, hate, poisoned thoughts and actions that could lead to sin and disastrous consequences.

In 2000, in a town in Southeast Nigeria there were bitter disputes between two brothers in a family over the sharing of the properties of their late father. The situation went real bad, lasting through many bitter years of hate and acrimony; both parties procured occultists and various forms of extra-diabolical means to justify their contentions. The problems took a huge toll on human lives and remained unresolved until January 2020.

While the devastating disputes were raging on in the family, young Ebuka, the youngest son of their father was in the seminary training to become a priest and, in November 2019, he was ordained a priest. In the celebration of his first Mass as a priest in January 2020 in his town, he brought his warring brothers to join in the Mass. He brought them before the congregation, and placing his hands on their heads he prayed and proclaimed himself the son of peace sent by God to them. This divinely motivated simple act before the altar of God brought his brothers to their knees and in tears, and for the first time in 18 years, they embraced one another, sobbing and asking for forgiveness. And this was the end of the family war, a true indication that peace goes where the son of peace abides.

(Today’s Oxygen by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, JP)

Prayer: Lord, please help us to see goodness in peace, enjoin us to one another in truth and in peace. Help us to build in harmony, peace and patience in our relationships and remove hate and bitterness among us. We trust that you will help us to remove any challenge that will obstruct peace from reaching us. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for helping us to live in peace as a family and as a people who profess and believe in you. We thank you and remain faithful to you, Amen.

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