Thursday, April 25, 2019

“No God, no peace; know God, know peace.”

We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God - Thomas Merton: (1915 – 1968: was an American Trappist monk)

Gospel Text: (LK 24:35-48)
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
"Peace be with you."
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things."

Peace, peace and there is no peace. Where is this peace? It is not to be found in the world. It is not to be found in the absence of violence, terrorism and war. If you are waiting for peace in the world, don’t hold your breath. Given human nature and man’s proven capacity for evil it is not a bright prospect.

Peace is not to be found in other people. Yet, how often our peace depends on the mind and the lips of other people; on what they think or say about us. How foolish is human respect whether it be the fear of criticism, ridicule or failure or the inordinate desire of human praise, honor and esteem.

Peace is not to be found in myself. “I see a law in my body warring against the law in my mind…the good I will I do not, the evil I will not I do.” (Romans 7: 13-24) When I look at myself I get discouraged. I realize that I do not have it all together. My experience tells me that I am a bundle of contradictions.

The peace of Christ is not to be found in the world, in others or in myself. It is not the result of human effort. It is a gift of Jesus. While our peace is a gift of Jesus, peace in the world is our responsibility.

Peace in the world is our responsibility. We must use the peace of Christ to create peace in the world. We do this first of all by sharing this peace of Christ with others. The more people there are who share the peace of Christ the greater potential there is for peace in the world. Secondly, if we want peace in the world we have to work for justice. As long as there are grave injustices in the world there will never be peace.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

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