Swords into Plowshares

As one result of the earthquake in Haiti, much USA and world military energy is being transformed and directed toward humanitarian aid.  An aircraft carrier outfitted for war will bring fresh water and medicines to the citizens of Port-au-Prince. Helicopters designed to convey soldiers to the battlefield will be used to carry food and medicines. Communications systems, intended to coordinate battlefield logistics, will assist in coordinating rescue operations for trapped Haitians and in directing aircraft in and out of the one airport. Military personnel  trained for combat will assist in the rescue operations and in maintaining peace and security on the streets of Port-au-Prince. In a way we are seeing the beautiful verse from Scripture come to life:  “They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Is 4:2).  

How much of the national budget, how much manpower and  technical expertise goes into the preparation of the war machines!  The strength and mobility of our military might shows  what can be done when we put our heads together in a concerted effort.  Now, facing the tragedy in Haiti, the challenge is to transform part of our military might into means for  saving and rebuilding a devastated city and  nation.

Advertisement

To be more faithful to Scripture, we should  read the rest of Isaiah 4:2: “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.”  While we see the first part of the verse,  turning swords into plowshares becoming actualized in Haiti, we know that we have a long way to go before the second part of the verse is actualized. Yet we can still hope that our efforts in Haiti are a small beginning.

Peter Schineller, S.J.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Venezuelan migrants walk across the border from Venezuela into the Brazilian city of Pacaraima. (CNS photo/Nacho Doce)
About 5,000 people leave Venezuela every day. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, at least 1.9 million Venezuelan citizens have left the country since 2015, fleeing from the economic and political crisis that the country is experiencing under President Nicolás Maduro.
Filipe DominguesOctober 22, 2018
Sexual orientation by itself is irrelevant to child sexual abuse. The risk factors include impulse control problems and substance abuse, and offenders take advantage of situations in which they are trusted.
Thomas G. PlanteOctober 22, 2018
“Jesus finds people where they are, but he never leaves them where they are.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 22, 2018
Paddy Considine in ‘The Ferryman’ (photo: Joan Marcus)
In the fallen world of “The Ferryman,” conflict and compromise poison everything.
Rob Weinert-KendtOctober 22, 2018