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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Journey: Peter, drop that sword? Was Jesus a pacifist?

(Tridentine South Africa; Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Now, is it not odd: that Jesus who told his Apostles to get swords: now attacks Peter for using one: "52 Jesus then said, 'Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26, NJB) We forget: that this is not the entire quote: in fact, the version in John, hardly mentions this: rather: a few verses before it notes that Jesus asked the attackers to leave his followers alone, and take him himself. Peter is not pleased by this: and rather chooses to fight. It is highly likely that Jesus is not prophesying, but rather saying to Peter: if you take up this fight, against all of these men: you shall die. It is further, seemingly a reference to when Peter desires that Jesus not be crucified: the sword: the human method of salvation: is here lambasted by Jesus: who knows that Peter does not desire for the events of Good Friday to happen: Peter would rather that God be proved a liar, than lose him temporarily.

This is furthered by Saint Paul who notes: that he who focuses only on the physical, shall die, yet the spirit is life.

Ultimately, we must view this verse, as is: a warning against viewing things in a purely physical way: Jesus tells Peter why he must put down his sword, in the same sentence almost: for he himself could stop it: this was not the "Time to Kill", but something that had to happen: God gave his life over in failed trust of the temporal, which he knew was to be abused: so that we would trust in God: Reality Himself.

This does not mean that we are not ever to take the sword, nor that the physical does not matter, clearly, Romans 10 says just the opposite: it means that the servant of God: must be in synchronicity with God's plan: sometimes: this even means disobeying the unjust command of even a bishop: in unison with the papacy, and magisterium: even from the pope in his personal capacity.

The principles of Just War are clear here: Peter had no chance of success: Jesus said that "He who takes up the sword shall die by the Sword!", could he not be referring to those in that very situation. plenty of sword fighters have not died in that manner: plenty whom Jesus would know of. Rather: he cures the damage done by Peter: and thereby spares Peter's life: in curing the enemy man's servant.

We should not easily read into the bible what is not there. What is there: is that human action by those in the church: actions contrary to the will of God: if taken to their extent, only damage God's plan: and in the end infuse death into those who do such. Compromise on justice, and obedience to God: is not a Catholic virtue, it is not a virtue: but illogical: if God is so wise: he sees what we are faced with: if he is not, he is not God: by compromising on our faith: we in fact testify that we do not serve God: let us not unintentionally blaspheme: we serve reality Himself, and we know that Reality is God, for every God must rely on Reality, and we know Reality is the source of all thought: and holds all the attributes of God, and that Reality is the name of God: and so: let us trust Reality: and do as we do in line with His true divine will: let us take up the swords he desires, and not those he apposes.




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