A reflection by Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP
July 3, 2016 ■ 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time ■ Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
“Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household (Lk. 10:5).”
The life of Jesus’ disciples is difficult. It is all the more difficult because we are sent to preach peace. Nothing is harder to sell than peace. In the world intoxicated with fundamental ideologies and narrow-mindedness, violence has become daily food. In Syria and Iraq, the war seems far from an end, and every day, it claims countless of innocent lives. Suicide bombings and shootings become common occurrences. Just recently, some unidentified individuals detonated themselves inside a busy airport in Istanbul, Turkey, killing more than 40 people and injuring countless others. Few weeks back, a heavily armed guy opened fire inside a gay bar in Orlando, US, and murdered more than 50 persons.
We are the Disciples of Christ. It means that we are sent to preach peace. We may join the anti-violence movement in our society. I myself is supporting our bishops’ call to end vigilantism and uphold the rule of law in the Philippines. Yet, the best place to preach peace is within ourselves. By examining ourselves, we may be surprised with the little violence we do every day. To preach peace means to stop doing subtle violence, to ask forgiveness, and to repair the damages. I have to admit that sometimes, I commit myself to violence. Involved in the teaching and formation ministry, I need to push people to their limit at times. Yet, instead of helping them, I hurt them.
It is true that preaching peace is difficult. At times, in promoting peace, we receive violence. At times, we are discouraged by the result. At times, despite our good effort, we do violence even to our beloved ones. Yet, we must not back down. Without preaching peace, we shall always be part of violence. Without preaching peace, we shall never attain peace in ourselves. Without preaching peace, we stop following Christ and his way of the cross. ■
Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP is a student brother from Palangkaraya, Indonesia. He made his profession to the Dominican Order on May 7, 2010. He finished his Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines ■