Peace is Not a Feeling, It is a Person, Jesus Christ
“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus ” These were words with which soon-to-be Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta described herself. People from every walk of life who encounter Mother Teresa could see that her entire being burned with love for Jesus Christ, her Lord. That love reached into the slums of Calcutta and eventually through the missionaries of Charity (her religious order of sisters) that love reached every inhabited continent in the world. While she and her sisters made love of the poor look heroic and yet easy. Many people did not know that for over thirty years Mother Teresa did not feel the presence of God in her life. Yet she persisted, the peace of Christ was still dwelling in Mother Teresa’s heart though she could not feel it.
The gift of peace that Christ gives to His disciples in the gospel today does not make everything easier. The gift of the Holy Spirit does not mean that the decision to no longer require gentiles to undergo circumcision but only follow the core of of the Mosaic Law must be followed to by all. This was a decision that was weighed and debated. I can imagine the Peter, Paul, and Barnabas had their fair share of sleepless nights to determine what Christ’s will was for His Church on the Mosaic law.
Jesus promises that the advocate the Holy Spirit will bring about peace. But yet all of his apostles were martyred often very gruesomely with the exception of St. John. So what kind of peace is Christ talking about. Because it is clear from scripture and the lives of the Saints that the Holy Spirit is truly an advocate for doing some amazing acts of love but certainly the Spirit does not promise a comfortable life.
So what kind of peace is Jesus talking about? The peace that Christ bestows in the gift of the Holy Spirit is a peace which transforms our hearts and attitudes first not the world then us. Christ peace is something that unites us interiorly with His most Sacred Heart. Thus, we change our hearts so that like the first disciples we can change the world.
Just as we can be resistant to any change that God may ask of us. Such as mending a friendship that was broken by a transgression that has turned into a grudge; setting aside more time for family and friends while cutting out overtime, meetings, and practices; or maybe it means making a real effort to stop venturing to the dark side of the internet which poisons our relationships with lust. Just as all these things can burrow their way into our hearts and make us resistant to accepting Christ’s peace. Sso also the world will often be resistant to Christ’s message of peace.
But we do not need to be afraid. Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit can allow us to bear even the taunts of the most revered figures in our culture today. You may be saying to yourselves “sure Father, I understand that the apostles preached the Gospel to the whole world and transformed many people's lives. I also understand how they were often rejected by people. But how do we as average everyday people; Moms and dads, grandparents, single people, teenagers, and children. How can we bring the peace of Christ to the world?
It begins with you. The peace of Christ must first reign in your own heart. It is only when each one of us allows Christ to be in control of our lives that we will see the Holy Spirit working in our lives giving us countless opportunities to spread Christ’s peace and mercy. Give that person on the street a smile, talk with that classmate that everyone considers a loser, simply not add anything to the rumor mill and put a stop to gossip at work and school. Parents for you especially, Mother Teresa was once asked by a mother how she could contribute to world peace. Mother Teresa’s response was simply “go home and love your family.” Mothers and fathers should strive to make their homes schools of love and if children learn how to love they will learn true peace.
As we prepare to receive our Lord in the Eucharist today. Let us contemplate the different ways Christ may be calling us to be instruments of His peace in our homes and in the world.
Posted Monday, May 2, 2016