6th Eastern Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

In this week’s Gospel we hear the origin of a prayer we pray at every Mass. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says to his disciples “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” Not only do we say this at every Mass, it also concludes the Rite of Confirmation. I always find it powerful to offer another the Peace of Christ. The Sign of Peace is clearly not a greeting. It is not, if you will, saying “hello” or “what’s up”. Rather, I think it is three things. It is a recognition, a sharing and a receiving.

In the same passage from John, the Lord says, “I do not give to you as the world gives.” It seems to me in the world, in the lives we live every day, we struggle to know peace in our hearts. At its core the lack of peace has to do with our uncertainty of who we really are. I find when my heart is troubled and there is a storm within me it is because I have forgotten my faith, I have forgotten who Jesus told me I am. And when I forget, I look at others as competitors, as antagonists, and as people fighting for the same scraps. The world tells us that it has a solution. It tells us if we look good enough then we will know love; if we have the newest car then others will be impressed; and if we are a success then we will be esteemed. Such solutions are only a temporary fix, they don’t offer lasting and true peace.

So what then is the Peace of Christ, what is the peace that the Lord offers? I think that the peace of Christ is the knowledge of the Son that he is the delight of the Father. And so the peace that Christ gives us is this same recognition that each of us is the delight of the Father. If things go well or go bad in our lives, we know that we have not slipped through God’s fingers, he holds us still. And he holds us because we are his delight, because we are his children. This belonging to God according to who we are, rather than what we do, can be seen in the First Reading. Circumcision is no longer necessary. It isn’t necessary because our actions do not bestow a belonging. Our belonging is given, freely given by God to his sons and daughters.

When we offer the Sign of Peace we recognize that each one of us is the delight of God. And when we look at the person to whom we are saying “the Peace of Christ,” we do so in an evangelical manner, that is we want them to know through our words and our gaze that they are the delight of God. We want to share this most beautiful gift of our faith with every person. So too do we want and need to hear it from them. We want to receive more deeply this gift of our faith. We all need to be reminded of who we truly are. The peace that is Christ’s is the same peace

offered to us. It is the peace that comes from knowing who we are. And who we are is who Christ has shown us to be – the delight of God.

God Bless, and Take Care!

Weekly Parish Bulletin366.82 KB

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