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The Twenty First Century Man is Thristy for Peace Published: Sunday, June 19, 2005 By: Dr. Leticia Pimentel Ríos

Peace is an interesting subject for those who have lived intensely as well as for those who are starting to live. The twenty first century man is thirsty for peace, he longs to be a “superman” as F. Nietzsche thought. Writing about peace excites me, whether it be from a spiritual emotional or physical perspective because I find it fascinating and challenging. ¿Who, that has ever lived has not uttered? “¡Leave me in peace!”

I am provoked by the violent content of the news published daily in the newspapers, the internet, the news heard over the radio and those seen in television, as well as the ones not in the media that are carried from mouth to mouth. Some news are found in the newspapers such as: UPR, Río Piedras Campus on strike; The Prince of Monaco died; Goodbye Tony Croato; Security Against Terrorists; Dog Kill Child; Distress Over Bail Reduction in Murder Case; Attached to Life After Nightmare, Pope dies in Rome. These and other news steal peace away from the reader who is seeking to know what is happening in the twenty first century.

Peace is everyone’s need. The child, the youth, the adult and the elderly as well are lacking peace, inner health, love, temperance, joy, contentment, control, tranquility, emotional equilibrium, physical and spiritual security, regardless of their place of origin or residence. The absence of peace unable the human being to live wisely or inspire of a good social position, good profession, excellent academic achievements, gifts, talents, abundant material goods, fame, friends, youth, health and other desired things. Peace cannot be bought.

Jesus is God’s Shalom, God’s peace. In the story of the man from Gadara (Mark 5:1-20) we see Jesus getting out the boat to the share, and suddenly, this man comes to meet him. Rest and peace are totally unknown. Night and day he would cry profoundly, shaking the town and making everybody to fear him (5:4). Then, Jesus starts the spiritual, emotional and physical liberation. The man focuses on Jesus and Jesus focuses on the man. The narrative says that the Gadarene ran to Jesus and worshiped him. The spirits of madness could not stand the majestic presence of Jesus and fell to workship him (Mt. 4:9)

All those that are rejected are loved by Jesus. The leper came to Him and received divine healing which brought to his soul a profound sense of peace (Mk 1:40) Jesus traveled to Capernaum; Mark Chapter 2, preaching and healing. He heals the paralytic (2:9). Jesus shows no favoritism; he loves the oppressed as well as the miser, he loves the tax collector and the destitute (2:4), the teacher and the engineer, the rich and the poor. He teaches man that his life is valuable and that has a purpose. His mission as a Supreme Pontiff is to continue mending the gap broken by sin at Eden.

God as the Sovereign King of the Universe, through Jesus, empowers his creatures to overcome the enemies that oppress. Men and women of God are characterized not only by a life full of peace, but by the fact that they live, act and love in a different way. They live a disciplined life of prayer and Scripture reading and above all they love their neighbor. Their daily living is a reflection of the presence of God. Above all they experience the peace that is beyond comprehension.

To close I quote the verses of Guillermo Nuñez, a puertorican poet of the 1945 generation, written before he was found by God’s Shalom. "I walked through the waves with the thirst of the poet, this thirst that had the size of a verse It was the thirst anointed by mountains and rivers, It was the thirst of a man, It was the thirst for a port."

Dr. Leticia Pimentel Ríos is a professor at the UPR in Carolina. She is the director of the Family Sunday School of Barbara Ann Roessler Presbyterian Church and friend of Quality for Business Success, Inc.


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