November 21, 2021
The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Day of Peace, September 21, by sending out a reflection on the twenty-first of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information that you would like to share to:
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
Continuing to Celebrate
The International Day of Peace
It is up to us to overcome the temptation
to be concerned only about our own problems;
we need to grow tender before the tragedies
of our World, to share its pain.
I was thinking about the World and my place in it. I want to do some-thing grand to benefit the people who suffer the most. Why is the World so harsh? Why is meanness now so popular? We even find it in our politics and our practice of religion. I even heard some admire those who deliberately practice cruelty to promote their beliefs or policies.
There is enough suffering in the World. We must commit ourselves to the pathways of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness based on justice.
I heard someone say social justice is against Christianity! Was it not Jesus who said we must feed the hungry? Did not Isaiah call for the powerful and greedy to stop consuming the poor for their own gain and prophet? Justice repairs the World, inviting us to be responsible for one another as best we can. Justice is the virtue by which we worship God and care for one another. Since we cannot be responsible for one another in isolation, we work together for the welfare and well-being of all.
Perhaps, we need to be “tender,” as Pope Francis encourages. His lovely message on the World Day of the Poor (33rd Sunday) touched my heart.
I often think doing something grand would be somewhat sensational. I am touched by the word “tenderness.” Maybe I could be more tender in all the affairs of life. Tenderness invites awareness of others and their hopes and longings. Tenderness invites gratitude. I am thankful for the opportunity to be tender. It takes courage to be tender. I must pray for the gift of courage.
I must practice tenderness when I meet someone for the first time or any time. I must realize I am in the presence of someone who God loves. May I have the courage to love who and what God loves.
I want to be tender to the Earth and the World around me. I am blessed to be here in this moment. Let me tenderly embrace the moment so I might listen to you, hear the song of the wind, and realize how blessed I am.
Think of the times in your life when someone was tender to you. How did you feel? Think of the times you were tender to someone else. May those moments bless you and encourage you in this moment when tenderness is so sorely needed.
Be tender to you and all you meet, Holy Community. Let us express gratitude to God for all the times we were tender. Let us pray for the courage to be tender all the time.
As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at: