Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Building Peace with Justice

Building Peace with Justice is a brief, weekly bulletin reflection on Catholic social teaching written by members of a Rochester Diocese Public Policy sub-committee. Here are two reflections for September:

September 6, 2009

In today’s reading from Isaiah we hear reassuring words for those whose hearts are frightened: “Be strong, fear not!” In July, Baltimore Archbishop Edmund O’Brien, previously Archbishop for the U.S. Military Diocese, spoke on nuclear disarmament at the 2009 Deterrence Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Command. “It will not be easy. Nuclear weapons can be dismantled, but both the human knowledge and the technical capability to build weapons cannot be undone. A world with zero nuclear weapons will need robust measures to monitor, enforce and verify compliance. The path to zero will be long and treacherous. But humanity must walk this path with both care and courage in order to build a future free of the nuclear threat.”

Respecting the life and dignity of all human beings requires the courage to defend life even when we fear for ourselves. Can you be a defender of life by working for nuclear disarmament?

September 13, 2009
The readings from Isaiah and Mark mention that conflict and resistance are part of the prophet’s and Jesus’ ministry. Why are God’s prophets resisted? Why do the followers of Jesus have a “cross” to bear? Could it be that those who announce God’s word and follow Jesus have to stand up to the “powers that be” as they defend the dignity of the poor and vulnerable? Jesus and
prophets confronted injustice in concrete terms and because of that they had enemies who resisted them.

Reflection: Are we willing to challenge the status quo and the “powers that be” when we see injustice? How does this relate to the conflict over health care reform that we are witnessing?