Yahweh-shalom is what Gideon called the altar he built to the LORD at Ophrah. “The Lord is our peace” is how we would translate that Hebrew name into English. It was certainly divine revelation that gave him that thought, because the oppression Gideon’s people were suffering under the Midianites was anything but peace. Gideon, however, was led to see that even in suffering, the Lord could bring peace.
St. Pius X was born Joseph Sarto, the second of ten children in a poor Italian family. He became pope at the age of 68, and he too yearned for peace in a generation that wouldn’t really have any. He famously ended, and subsequently refused to reinstate, state interference in canonical affairs. He had foreseen World War I, but because he died just a few weeks after the war began, he was unable to speak much about it. On his deathbed, however, he said, “This is the last affliction the Lord will visit on me. I would gladly give my life to save my poor children from this ghastly scourge.”
“For God, all things are possible,” Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel. Even when peace seems remote, as perhaps it does today, we can rely on our God who will bring peace to our world just as surely as he was able to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites. Yahweh-shalom: the Lord is our peace.