MY PEACE I GIVE YOU. I DO NOT GIVE TO YOU AS THE WORLD GIVES.”
Recently Colombia has been the number one news ítem because of its gamble for peace.
Today the brake put on this gamble by the triumph of the ‘no’vote in the referéndum on the accord between the armed group of the FARC and the government surprises us. Over and above that, we are are surprised at the abstention rate of 65% among the country’s electors. This has led us to rethink the mission of the education system and of the Church both of them charged with forming values, engaging the people in the peace process, and promoting solidarity and the common good.
The national and international shock of different sectors of society in the face of this historic moment has led to a greater depth in the search for peace. The students in particular have mobilised around this cause and for this Constitutional right. We are convinced that education is the way to peace, an education in the values of life, in the collective manifestation of pardon, justice, and reparation. We are convinced that it is through association and community work worthy of it name , that creativity will blossom as we discover the need to overcome this crisis.
It is thus that we are experiencing the wake-up call of different sectors of society that are comeing together for peace in different ways such as the marches organized by the students :
- Marches with torches
- Marches with flowers paying hommage to the victims
- The encampment in the middle of the Place Bolivar
A real spirit of peace and of love for life and democracy can be seen in all of these prophetic actions launched as a result of education. Today, where the referendum seemed to have engendered a strong polarisation and another war, we see on the contrary a panorama filled with hope and with more participation in education and in the Church. We see a more audacious manner of replying to the more concrete questions that the people are posing.
Here are some of the thinking in favour of peace that is animating the marches :
- “yes, we want the agreements signed at Habana!”
- “And yes, we have read them, we like them. Let’s go forward Colombia, Let’s go for peace.”
- “Toribo has said it, Bojaya has said it : we don’t want any more war, what we want is peace.”
- “Look, my friend, unite yourself with everyone else. Peace is a right under the Constitution.”
As a community of three Colombian Daughters of Jesus, two of whom are students, we have felt a Jesus who wants to give us his peace. Let us welcome it so that we may be healed of all that oppresses us. In this way we will receive the joy of pardon, and the hope of a reconciliation that will lead us to a new way of entering into relationship and of constructing the country.
This has led us to develop a creativity that frees the way and opens up new opportunities for life.
We are present in each initiative which opens up to us a horizon full of hope and motivation. In our daily sharing and our community prayer we have lived these events alongside a suffering and confused people. We have felt a Church that is questioning itself on its role in this process of pardon and reconciliation, given that it is no stranger to this language. What’s more, this was the programme of the life of Jesus : Master, Teacher and Artisan of peace.
We feel that it is a Jesus full of compassion who is close to this multitude of Colombians. As Daughters of Jesus and as students, we want to engage in all of the necessary processes so that our people may travel on the road of peace, justice and of the right to live in dignity.