“Sow for yourselves justice,
reap the fruit of piety;
break up for yourselves a new field,
for it is time to seek the LORD,
till he come and rain down justice upon you.”
Recalling this passage from the Prophet Hosea, Saint Paul finished his letter to the Galatians with:
Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.
"If you want peace," Pope Paul VI told the United Nations assembly, "work for justice."
It sounds so obvious but it has to be said. No one gets rich by practicing peace. If you think you can do well by doing good, be careful. Be very careful. I have yet to hear of a saint who also enjoyed a rags-to-riches career. But daily I read about Jesus who saved the world by dying in abject poverty, naked, abandoned, despised and laid to rest in a borrowed tomb.
Many people prepare for war even as they insist they want peace. Behind their preparation for war are all the usual suspects: greed, avarice, fear, and so forth. In a recent editorial, Paul Krugman called it grift, right-wing hucksters getting rich by hawking their products even as they exploit public anxiety. Make no mistake, God is not mocked. They will reap in tears what they have sown with laughter.
Hosea urges us to "break up for yourselves a new field." Peacemakers are pioneers, continually discovering and opening new opportunities.They find doors where the fearful saw only barriers.
Sow the seeds of peace with acts of justice; water it with acts of kindness; protect it from vandals with consistent courtesy. And, if you do well, expect to be co-opted by someone less scrupulous.