Monday, 22 December 2008


The seventh beatitude is:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:9)

Peace in the Hebrew sense means wholeness; the Hebrew word is shalom. To be a peacemaker is to be one who provides the environment where God can give this shalom. This state of shalom is the original state of humanity at the point of creation. When we sinned, we lost this completeness, shalom. Thus, when we do reach this completeness we becomes like Adam — a son of God. Jesus came to restore this shalom to humanity. Thus, if we are able to provide the environment where shalom can be reached, we participate in what Jesus, the Son of God, did and we are also called “sons of God”.

When discerning a vocation, we should seek this shalom that God provides. Many people confuse this with the idea of ‘fulfilment’. ‘Fulfilment’ is what one feels about that which completes their being or purpose in life. Shalom is the completeness that God gives. Many people feel fulfilled when they achieve something they set out to do in life. That should not be a motivation for discerning a vocation. A vocation is God’s call to a state of life. It is not an achievement. We may feel contented when we answer God’s call, but it is not a sense of fulfilment that we feel, it is shalom that comes from God. Furthermore, this feeling is only one possible expression of shalom. The true sense of shalom is the knowledge that God has made us whole. Unfortunately, as sinners, it is not probable that we would have the sense of shalom continuously. This sense may be a feeling or an inner knowledge. We can sense or know, from within ourselves, that when we answer the Lord’s call, God completes us. That would be a description of what many people mean when they say, “The moment I said my ‘yes’ to the Lord, I felt peace.”

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