Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Peace, a word that inspires me joy, and challenge me to affirm shalom in a thorny field. As shalom, peace is the core of my theological convictions, as it is my personal horizon in our present world.
The gospels’ teaching and my experience of life in Latin American involved me, in the past and today, to pursue shalom in my personal life and mission.
The gospels show peace as a daily practice to build relations based on justice, and spiritual fulfillment; inspiring, while teaching, that present status-quo use to be based on cruelty and violence. Gospel teaches us the deep difference between the empire of pax and the reign of shalom.
Rome empire sustained his hegemony with violence; seeds of cruelty, domination and fear, oppression and slavery were sown in the midst of the “plantation” of their law & order to impose the “Romanization” in all the world; particularly in Palestine, in time of Jesus. By involving high class, and religious leaders, violence was masked with diplomacy, imposing negotiations with “mutual” political and economic advantages, and empowering Palestinian elites with positions and privileges to perpetuate the law and order of Rome, the pax, including its violent model of domination, the submission of the colonies; taxations to all productive activity of artisans, commerce, fishing, and farming; the repression and punishment with army and judicial powers; the presence of army bases in foreign lands; and finally, the adoration to the emperor as “kyrios” (“a god,” over any other “god” on the earth.) It touched lands, people, minds, souls. Any people’s reaction was punished with cruelty and crucifixion, la pax-Romana.
The bias of people born in that field grew up embodying the logic of violence; assuming it as a “natural” and “normal” way to be human, leaders, and governors. Christianity uses to confront this human-deformational program, were a circus, gladiators, death, and crucifixion were entertainment “culture,” and that anti-life logic was the thorny field for the gospel.
No one escape from that structural model of violence which used touched lands (eco-systems), people’s minds and souls, and social structures. It was no easy to escape healthy from that powerful structural plan of human deformation. All human relationship was mediated by violence germs. Political, military, and religious fields were impregnated with violence and derived items as are arrogance, and pride. Christianity confronts that practices as a sin. San Augustine claimed that sin is the practice of superbia, means arrogance and pride.
A Roman citizen in politic, in the military, was a pride, an arrogant, a violent person, a superbus, a “super-being.” (If this looks familiar to someone it is no accidentally) Roman soldier means “super-being” over others that the early church actively re-processed that teaching with educating believers for shalom, and to assume ontologically the humane of Jesus Christ, the prince of shalom, the peacemaker, born again with the spirit of shalom. (John 3: 1ss; Matt. 6:)
During more than a half of century Colombians appeared they embodied the deformational power of violence structurally, and individually. Looks like violence became a business issue that enriches few groups which “industry” of kill for money, and power, and pride, but pushing peace out to perpetuate The Violence of Colombia, the great business.
Where is shalom in Colombia? Could the agreement of peace make arise and restore the spirit of peace to all the people, and strength the education of peace to build peace on the land?
My dream is to see Colombia raising the banner of integral life, building peace brick by brick, with patience, hope, and love, to prepare the field for shalom, to celebrate the jubilee in the land of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan. (Dt. 25; Matt. 5: 38-48)