This Holy Week before Easter, in the readings even God is fed up, screaming at us all, as through the prophets again: ‘I have always been there for you!’ ‘I brought you safely through the Red Sea time and again!’ ‘I have given you everything …..what possibly could I have done more?’ ‘What more could I give to the human race than all the gifts in creation, the talents, ability to love and to reason, to live(!) life?!!?’ Why is it so difficult for we humans to achieve a lasting peace?!
In the supermarket this morning here at the sea, I could not believe what happend! (oh no… I hear the laughter of my friends already, because I refer often to stressed-out tourists, cashiers in the supermarket, especially during tourist season) Having been sick for several weeks with bronchitis, I went early this morning at opening time to the supermarket for requisitions before the Easter rush (heavy tourist time here in Egmond aan Zee!)
The store had been open for only 10 minutes, and was filling fast with tourists as well as locals. Attempting to ask one of the shelf packagers about an item, he snapped at me before I could get the complete question formulated: “Look, lady, it would be much easier for all of us if there were a huge crate with endless supplies for everybody to just reach in and grab all the time, …
” I stood stunned, and just listened to him rant on…..nothing he said applied to me nor my situation. After listening a bit to him, he turned and walked away. In a few moments he came back: “the day is only just begun and I am already at the end of my rope! How is it I could help you, mam?”
I thanked him for his time, and his returning to me. He found in the back that for which I had been looking, and wished me a pleasant day, as did I him. A little ‘moment of Peace’ arose between us right then and there…and I wished him luck with this workday! …..
Two rabbis argued with each other a thousand years ago about peace. “Peace…on earth?! Impossible! Never has there been peace, and, never will there be peace on earth!” “My brother, do you and I have peace with each other?” “yes, of course!”
“Then, there is peace on earth at this moment, right here and right now, with us!” …..
And with those of us who know true peace—even if it comes and goes–, is it not possible to nourish and spread it all around us? Is it not because I stood and listened to the frustrated shelf packer this morning, that he returned and finally did help me ‘in peace’?
With soooo much love and good will in our world, is it not possible to mend the so many broken hearts, minds, souls.. homes…:? is there not among us enough love to bundle together and send into the world? How is it possible that we let it get so far that economy and politics rule our world?
Why do we blame God, and hold God accountable, for our failure to share ? Why —with all our technological know-how— have we not been successful yet in organizing food, shelter, clothing, education and basic human needs for every world-citizen, along with the necessary self-help programs so they may continue to develop?
Should we not raise our hearts to God and open ourselves to insight, guidance and courage to take empowering steps toward universal peace, instead of tightening our fists in anger and frustration at God or at each other? Could we not assume some of Jesus’ passion for life, the courage to be vulnerable and to share wounds and brokenness as well as joys; be first to listen instead of to speak, be willing to forgive — if not forget–instead of condemn; be willing to die to self (ego),so that others might be empowered to live? … IS love stronger than death, or not?
Teresa A. Takken, SFCC