The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

A Divine Partnership

Fr. George Smiga
May 6, 2013
John 14: 23-29

We would not be here today, if we did not believe that we have a relationship with God. But there has been a significant amount of theological discussion over the centuries on how this relationship functions, especially when it comes to getting things done. When some good thing needs to happen in our world or when some evil thing needs to be stopped the question is, “Whose responsibility is it to act: God or ours?”

Now certainly God has more power to act. We believe in a God who is involved in our lives and in human history, shaping the course of human events, changing hearts, and bringing hope where there was only despair. This God can act much more powerfully than we can. So when we hear the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,” our first response might be to sit back and wait. Since Jesus has promised peace, we can suppose that Jesus will establish peace. So we respond, “Good, thank you, bring it on! Give us peace!”

But we also know that in other places in the gospels Jesus calls us to be peacemakers. In the beatitudes he says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” So who is expected to make peace—Jesus or us? Obviously when you look at the entirety of the scriptures, it becomes clear that Jesus does not intend to give peace by himself. The achievement of peace is something in which he calls us to participate. We are in a partnership with God, called to bring about peace into our world.

Certainly our world needs peace. A recent research document verified that there has not been a single day since World War II in which there was peace in the world—not a single day without some kind of armed conflict happening in some place. Today there is violence in Syria, in Iraq, and in so many parts of Africa. In all of these places what we find is not peace but violence. Therefore, it is easy to conclude—and indeed many have—that peace will never come to this world. This view would ask us to prepare ourselves for day after day of war.

Yet Jesus promises to give us peace. Is his promise realistic? Only if we realize that his peace is not a gift, but a project that we will work on together. It is very important to understand what this partnership entails. It is not an equal arrangement. As I said, God has much more power than we do. How then should we divide up the work? There are so many places in our world where efforts to achieve peace are beyond our control. There we must leave peacemaking to God. When, however, we discover areas of violence under our own influence, it is then that we must act. We might not be able to stop violence or war in Syria or give comfort to the thousands of refugees in camps around the world, but we can choose to refrain from violent language in our home, to instill understanding and patience at work or at school, to forgive someone who has hurt us. These are our actions of peacemaking. They may seem very small compared to the large efforts towards world peace. But we are in a partnership. God does the big things, and we contribute what we can by our actions against violence. So we should never undermine or negate the small efforts that we can offer. We should believe that God will use our small efforts at peacemaking as a part of his larger plan to save the world.

I believe that the day will come when there will be world peace. When that day arrives, it will certainly be God’s work. But we are God’s partners. That is why we must become peacemakers today.

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