He is Our Peace
Jesus appointed the seventy-two and sent them to proclaim peace to those who will accept it (Lk 10:1-9). Let us reflect briefly on the theme of peace. You must agree with me that our world and, may I add, our Church needs a message of peace today more than ever. Jesus, the prince of peace, wants us to have peace. What is this peace we are talking about? What does it entail? As we hear the priest say in the eucharistic prayers, Jesus comes to give us peace, the type of peace the world cannot give. And we do exchange the sign of peace during mass. This peace flows from Jesus present sacramentally on the altar after consecration. Jesus truly gives us peace.
Again, what is the peace that Jesus offers? Are we following Jesus' instruction to the seventy-two to announce and share his peace with the world? Jesus also says to us in the beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God" (Mt 5:9). Since we are children of God, we should be peacemakers. Jesus wants his followers to spread his peace to all. He is our peace.
The catechism of the Catholic Church says the following about peace: "Respect for and development of human life require peace; Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. 'Peace is the tranquillity of order'. Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity" (CCC 2304).
The tranquility of order. That is the peace of Christ, the peace we need. We need to work according to the order of things defined by God and nature. This can be applied to every facet of our day-to-day living with others. We must sit at the feet of Jesus and learn what peace entails. We must practice peace as Jesus reveals it to us. We need his grace to fly on the wings of justice and charity to bring about peace in our hearts, our family, our parish, our Church, our community, and our world. Let the peace of Christ be shared among us.
I write this from Lagos, Nigeria where I am spending most of my annual vacation. It is peaceful here even amidst the traffic and fast life. Even as you hear reports of violence, I am enjoying the peace of Christ. I am with my sisters, nieces and nephews. In the spirit of peace that only Jesus can give, we hope to witness a peaceful union of my niece to her spouse on Thursday and Friday (yes, we have a two-day wedding consisting of traditional and church wedding ceremonies). I look forward to those days. Keep me in your prayers as I do the same for you from Lagos, Nigeria. I miss you all.
Peace be with you.
Fr. Bernard, OP