Church aisle facing the altar

Sunday Soundbite for September 16, 2018

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B

September 16, 2018

 

In the 1930s, a young writer in New York City was struggling to publish a novel. As World War II broke out in Europe, he looked into his own heart as well as the headlines, and produced a soul-searching examination of human violence and war. Unfortunately, his novel remained unpublished for years.

The author? Thomas Merton, the most prominent Catholic author of the twentieth century. His wartime novel, My Argument with the Gestapo, was finally published years after Merton became a Trappist monk and had written many spiritual books.

Merton’s insight into war and peace are echoed in today’s second reading from the Letter of James. There the author explores where wars and conflicts originate. He tells us that violence starts from within the human heart. But from God comes the possibility of peace.

Jesus offers us the way to peace in the Gospel today, inviting us to put ourselves last, as servants. Let us “cultivate peace” in our hearts, our communities, our world.