Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” Loving our Lord with all our heart and being and desiring to remain with him in his love is the fruitfulness of peace and a gift of the Holy Spirit. The one thing that strikes me most about peace is our deep longing and sincere desire for peace, but we do not really understand where to find it and we do not really know where to begin. We desire peace, we know we need it, but we do not understand what it looks like, but we long for it and even pray for peace for ourselves, for our family, for our faith and even for this world. We sing, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” That seems to be a good place to start, with “Me”. Peace seems to be more intimate and delicate than just tuning out the world and finding a quiet place free from noise and noisy relatives, coworkers, and friends. Peace is very personal, a gift, something for self, something way more interior than exterior. If the interior reflects peace on the inside, then it will reflect peace on the outside, bringing more peace into the world, our homes and workplaces. We must give peace a chance and opportunity to work and become effective, to take root, be savored, to become everlasting peace. Peace begins in silence, continues with self-examination, begins to grow in spiritual discernment, blossoms with grace and becomes truly fruitful in prayer. Interior quiet and silence is the key that opens the great door to the possibility of peace. It is there in that inner room in all our hearts, in the quiet and inner stillness where God helps us to see what keeps us from true everlasting peace. In the quiet, God reveals what takes peace away or keeps us from experiencing peace, more peace, having peace always. Things like unforgiveness, hatred, violence and anger or leaving past hurts and wounds unresolved and unattended or seeking worldly pleasure rather than seeking God or craving and lusting virtual encounters. This all certainly keeps us from peace. We need to pray for peace, but we first need to pray for interior conversion of heart for ourselves, this world, our families, and those people who love us and those who love to hate us. Then there will surely be everlasting peace in our hearts and more of God’s love in this world.