Starting up the ‘peace train’

Those who are in hot water find themselves in a difficult situation in which they are likely to be punished. After the “football” game – highlighted in the June 23 edition of this newspaper – where Jesus wouldn’t take sides (he cheered when each team scored), an anonymous religious leader, who agreed that we could call him “Sage Bush,” suggested those who held different views attend a meeting to try to clear the air and eventually start up the “peace train.”

It started off badly. Some people objected to the team called the “Crusaders.” The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. The stated goal was to restore Christian access to holy places in and near Jerusalem. Following the First Crusade there was an intermittent 200-year struggle for control of the Holy Land, with seven more major crusades and numerous minor ones. The final coffin nail in the ancient peace train came about when various groups declared statehood and should be accepted as such by their neighbors/enemies.

Now, multiple terrorist groups threatened to destroy the conference Sage Bush set up – every breathing person, the potted plant and all the pencils and paper. So, Sage Bush cast a magical spell on those who did or did not want to attend this conference.

No matter the religion or motivation, those who wished to live in peace would discover their dreams are accepted by everyone, and they were allowed to sit in the first chairs on the peace train. Those who preferred (before they were casted with the spell) to kill innocent people or who show no tolerance for those who did not share their beliefs, will find that they are assigned to shovel coal on the peace train.

Over a loud speaker they will repeatedly hear:  So what is the role of respect in Islam? Islam states that it is the responsibility of each individual to treat all of creation with respect, honor and dignity.  The most deserving of respect is the creator himself. Respect begins with loving and obeying the commandments of God and from this respect flow all the manners and high standards of morality that are inherent in Islam.

Or words from Jesus:

As the father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my father’s commandments and abide in his love.  John 15:9-11. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command to you, to love one another.  John 15:16-17.

Or words from the Blessed Virgin ​Mary:

“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid. Because he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.”

And her advice to all of us: As Mary instructed the servants at the Wedding feast at Cana, she now tells us: “Do what he (Jesus) tells you.”

Sage Bush then lifted the magical spell, hoping that the pious words spoken earlier would change the hearts of those bent on destruction. Those who had already desired peace were so affected by the words that they went forth to evangelize. Those who had been shoveling coal came off the train, faces covered in soot dust, ignoring the large basin of water.

Father Dennis Meinen serves as chaplain at Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Sioux City, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the diocese and Calix; and Faithful Friar of the Garrigan 4th Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, Sioux City.