Message from the Pastor
Peace Be With You!
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
In the life of American Indians, the war tomahawk was a very important instrument. When a tribe was entering the path of war, the special tomahawk was in the hands of the chief. When the peace treaty was signed, the tomahawk of war in a solemn ceremony was buried. In this ceremony the expression “to bury the hatchet” finds its roots. Then the pipe of peace was used to celebrate and rejoice. There was always the possibility, however, that the tomahawk of war would be excavated and used again. There was always the fear that “the hatchet would be unearthed.” The peace therefore stood on shaky ground. Many Christians understand reconciliation and building peace by using the Indian way. They all have their own “hatchet.” They are willing to bury it and smoke the pipe of peace with others, but only if the conditions are right for them, only on their terms. If something doesn’t go their way, they don’t hesitate to “unearth the hatchet.”
This approach to building unity and peace has nothing to do, however, with what the Holy Scripture and Christ Himself is suggesting. The Prophet Isaiah calls God’s children to hammer their swords, spears, and hatchets into sickles and plows (Is. 2:4). In other words, war is not acceptable as a way of building peace. God expects us, His children, to reconcile with our enemies to such extent that war will be eliminated once and for all. He expects us to extend our hands and expand our hearts so that reconciliation will be permanent. God wants us to depend completely on Him and be brave enough to embrace others with love even when they are waving their hatchets or piercing our hearts.
God came to us when we were His enemies, when we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). He came to us without a hatchet. In His hand was bread and in His heart forgiveness. The people did not accept Him; they instead unearthed their own hatchets and struck the Son of God. This didn’t stop Him from loving them. He continues even today to extend His hands and His heart to those who are against Him. He sticks to His method. He doesn’t reject anyone. Because His forgiveness is full and complete, He embraces even those who are still unable to see or understand that life is authentically beautiful only when the hatchet of war is forged into an instrument that produces bread.
Therefore, our time on earth should not be a time when we bury our hatchets, but a time when we produce bread and build true peace. God who was born in Bethlehem (Home of Bread) wants to enter our hearts and help us with this endeavor, giving us first His peace. His peace, however, as God Himself, is hidden. For you and for me, it is hidden in reconciliation, in reconciliation with God, with others and with ourselves. Let us follow God’s way; let us stick to His method. Peace be with you!
With God’s blessing,
Msgr. Frank Kurzaj, Pastor
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