Blessed are those who are hungry for goodness, those who never get enough of God and truth and righteousness. For they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, those who remember how much has been forgiven them, and are able to extend this forgiveness into the lives of others. For they too shall receive God’s mercy.

Blessed are those who know that all they are is a gift from God, and so they can be content with their greatness and their smallness, knowing themselves and being true to them- selves. For the earth is their heritage.

Blessed are those who are convinced of their basic dependency on God, whose lives are emptied of all that doesn’t matter, those for whom the riches of this world just aren’t that important. For the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Blessed are those who wear compassion like a garment, those who have learned how to find themselves by losing themselves in another’s sorrow. For they too shall receive comfort.

Blessed are the creators of peace, those who build roads that unite rather than walls that divide, those who bless the world with the healing power of their presence. For they shall be called children of God.

This is the day, That the Lord has made, I will rejoice, And be glad in it, Thank you Lord for this beautiful day. Amen.

Blessed are those whose love has been tried, like gold, in the furnace and found to be precious, genuine and lasting, those who have lived their belief out loud, no matter what the cost or pain. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those whose hearts are free and simple, those who have smashed all false images and are seeking honestly for truth. For they shall see God.

To feel for the hurt of others, to know how they feel because you’ve felt that way before, to want to help others who are in trouble.

To admit that you have needs, to be one to change, to realize that you don’t have it all, to be willing to learn from what others have to tell you.

Those who can rediscover the simplicity of a child can begin to hope anew. This is possible above all for those who know they can trust God, who desires har- mony among all peoples in the peaceful com- munion of his kingdom. It is also possible for those who, though not sharing the gift of faith, believe in the values of forgiveness and solidarity and see in them – not without the hidden action of the Spirit – the possibility of renewing the face of the earth. Pope John Paul II World Day of Peace, 1996

We pray for children who sneak popsicles before supper, who erase holes in math workbooks, who can never find their shoes. And we pray or those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire, who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers, who never “counted potatoes,” who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead, who never go to the circus, who live in an X-rated world. We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money. And we pray for those who never get dessert, who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents watch them die, who can’t find any bread to steal, who don’t have any rooms to clean up, whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser, whose monsters are real. We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday, who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, who like ghost stories, who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse out the tub, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool, who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry. And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything, who have never seen a dentist, who aren’t spoiled by anybody, who go to deb hungry and cry themselves to sleep, who live and move, but have no being. We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must, for those we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance. For those we smother…and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.