The presidential portrait of Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), who served as the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953. GRETA KEMPTON/PUBLIC DOMAIN

Spiritual Life

Wisdom of God brings peace to our hearts, world

By Father Joseph Sund

Scripture Reflections




Reading I – Wis 2:12, 17-20

Responsorial – Ps 54:3-6, 8

Reading II – Jas 3:164:3

Gospel – Mk 9:30-37


President Harry Truman once said: “I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount.”

Though the variety of problems in the world has changed since the late 1940s, the cause of these problems remains the same. St. James tells us in this Sunday’s second reading, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice” (3:16).

St. James provides us the solution in the next verse: “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity” (3:17).

If we take the Beatitudes, which Jesus delivered in the Sermon on the Mount, and read St. James’ remarks alongside them, we get a consistent message of how a Christian should live.

To complete the picture, add the reflection on the characteristics of love that St. Paul gives us in 1 Corinthians 13, which we often hear at weddings. It is the love of God and the wisdom of God that the Spirit gives so that our world can become a more peaceful place.

President Truman put his finger on a great truth here. Perhaps drawing close to the source of love and peace does solve our problems.

Our world, our country, our cities and sadly even our parishes have become so bitterly divided over such trivial matters in these past couple of years. We should be more attentive to spending time in prayer, both with Scriptures and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

I promise that you’ll never find peace listening to talk radio, with its shouting and complaining about politics. All you will find is selfish ambition, which brings disorder to our hearts. Yet, as I draw close to the wisdom of God and his holy presence, their fruits will become clear in inner peace and will shine through the works and actions of my own life. 

We might restate the words of President Truman even more simply with the words of Christ himself: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt 6:33).

Set aside time each day to do this. Cast aside selfish ambition and jealousy and seek the wisdom of God!

Father Joseph Sund is associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish in O’Neill, St. Joseph Parish in Amelia, St. Joseph Parish in Atkinson, St. Boniface Parish in Stuart and Sacred Heart Parish in Boyd County. He is also campus minister at St. Mary School in O’Neill.

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