Folks have long memories. Sometimes individuals and communities get a bad name (for good or not so good reasons) and that reputation can be impossible to shake off. Being a scapegoat is a merciless role; it is for a lifetime or even longer. Yes, a scapegoat is the right word for it, because they might have done wrong in some way, but so have we all. In spite of that, the burden of guilt and shame continue to cast shadows on them without relief.
Yet all of us are fellow pilgrims, sisters and brothers on earth, doing our very best to follow Jesus and his teachings. Some days we do well and other days ? not so much. Jesus knew that about us. One of his cornerstone instructions was about forgiveness and new beginnings.
Jesus says that he is leaving his peace with us-peace within our hearts, peace amongst us, and peace between our communities. Let us finally take the first step and extend our hand to offer that peace Jesus wants us so much to embrace.
We love you, Jesus! Transform our hearts to be humble and loving toward ourselves as well as toward others so that we may be your agents of peace. Amen. — ES