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On the Road to Peace

The politics of resurrection

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I spent Holy Week serving in the little mission church of San Jose de Picacho along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was hot, nearly 90 degrees, with wind gusts over 50 mph. I took time to walk along the drought-afflicted Rio Grande, and found myself on retreat, with time to consider the events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Revenge is not the way

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I had just finished a weekend retreat on the Sermon on the Mount in Los Angeles when I heard the news that the U.S. had killed Osama bin Laden. Unlike the president, the U.S. military, and the hundreds who cheered and waved flags, I did not celebrate. I do not support or cheer the killing of anyone. As a Christian, I am not allowed to retaliate, seek revenge or to kill. I’m supposed to love enemies, do good to those who hate, and bless those who persecute. This news only leads me further into grief, prayer and repentance.

Easter With the Monks of Tibhirine

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Happy Easter everyone! I hope and pray that each one of us can be reenergized this Easter season to welcome the nonviolent Jesus' resurrection gift of peace and go forward in faith, hope and love to do new work for peace with justice.

Resurrection means, among other things, having nothing to do with death. As resurrection people, we non-cooperate with Death and the means and metaphors of death, such as war, racism, sexism, corporate greed and nuclear weapons. That means, as resurrection people, we are people of nonviolence, people of peace, people of universal love.

To be hopeful, do hopeful things

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A few weeks ago, after visiting oppressed Palestinians in the southern region of the West Bank, I climbed the Mount of Olives near the Old City of Jerusalem to pray in the beautiful little chapel of Dominus Flevit, which commemorates Jesus’ lament of Jerusalem. Behind the little altar, a big window looks out over the Kidron Valley directly at Jerusalem, including the Old Wall and the golden Dome of the Rock mosque. It’s a stunning place to pray over Jerusalem and the world.

Expelling the demons of war

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War is never the solution. The Obama Administration’s new war in Libya (on top of our current wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan) will not bring God’s peace to anyone; it just makes us all less secure.

These wars kill civilians and children, destroy the earth, fuel terrorism and bankrupt our economy. We have no money for schools, jobs, healthcare, housing for the homeless and food for the hungry -- but we always have money for war.

In Galilee, learning to become a blessed disciple

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Last month, I spent a few quiet days on retreat by the Sea of Galilee. I was hoping for renewal, grace, hope and peace in that holy land before I joined the Sabeel Conference with my Palestinian friends. I was not disappointed. For me, that particular landscape marks the starting point of my vocation as a peacemaker, and continues to inspire me.

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