“We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions and requires us to eradicate racism and address the extreme poverty and disease plaguing so much of the world. Solidarity also includes the Scriptural call to welcome the stranger among us—including immigrants seeking work, a safe home, education for their children, and a decent life for their families. In light of the Gospel’s invitation to be peacemakers, our commitment to solidarity with our neighbors—at home and abroad—also demands that we promote peace and pursue justice in a world marred by terrible violence and conflict. Decisions on the use of force should be guided by traditional moral criteria and undertaken only as a last resort. As Pope Paul VI taught: “If you want peace, work for justice” (World Day of Peace Message, January 1, 1972).”
Justice is such a “big time” word, but I hope it doesn’t only remain just a “big time” word all because justice is hard to explain, to understand, and to practice. A common definition of justice that I often encounter is that, it is giving someone what is due to him. For me, it is justice that brings about peace for from justice starts healing of any loss.
Peace is also “big time,” perhaps, bigger than whatever could be so big we can imagine. Peace is a big possibility that each one has, and one could only realize his potential of radiating peace when he knows how to love, for love is the foundation of peace. I think that if peace is not about love, peace loses its sense.
Love has become so sensationalized and romanticized that it already loses its meaning. As Catholic Christians, we were thought that genuine love is God, and that any relationship apart from God is not genuine love at all. So many people find it difficult to love today, to love through the perspective of God. A common understanding is that, the love you have for yourself is also the love that you give to your neighbor. However, despite the love I can give, I know that if I use myself as the epitome of that love, it ends up to the fact that it’s limited love, and I can only give as much as I have, then it stops there. So, I believe that genuine love only comes from God. He is the perfect epitome of love. Therefore, we can only give the love we have for ourselves if we acknowledge that it comes from the Father, thus giving out that same love to others. We never produce love; we just make possibilities to dispense it. We have no right nor is in any position to boast that we are such loving persons. Love comes from God alone.
We have nothing to offer our neighbor that doesn’t come from God. I believe, this nothingness makes us loyal people of God. Whatever color, whatever state of life, whatever differences; our dignity is one and the same in the eyes of God. That is love “in spite of,” and God in union with His Church calls us to this – “to love in spite of.”