How necessary do we need peace and how often do we long for it. How much do our hearts thirst for the peace that only God can give? At times, we are ‘annihilated’ by the fears of life and the anxiety of our time; we are ‘annihilated’ on one side and on the other by frustrations and by defeats. And, because we do not know how to deal with the adverse situations of life, we lose peace, sleep, tranquillity, and many a time, we become difficult, aggressive, selfish and proud people. We need the Risen One to resurrect the true feelings of the soul and the heart. We need the Risen Christ to bring new life into our soul and into us and grant us peace.
The first gift of the Risen Lord is Peace. In today’s Gospel Reading (cf. Lk. 24:13-35) the risen Lord appears to his disciples after his Resurrection and confirms them in the certainty that He is alive. The disciples still had a hard time believing that the Master had risen. Jesus asks them to touch his hands and feet, they checked and testified that it was the Lord himself alive and present before them. At this meeting, Jesus transmits to his disciples and to each one of us the gift of peace. It was the Peace of Jesus that strengthened them first, that liberated them from fear. This same peace comes to us today and renews our life, giving us hope and a new light in our eyes, the light of the Risen One. We need to communicate his peace to the people around us. Jesus’ peace is a different peace, it is a peace that makes us leave ourselves and go to the other. The peace of Christ should enable us to be his authentic witnesses by words and deeds capable of winning souls for Christ; just as the disciples did in the First Reading (cf. Acts 3:11-26) by demonstrating the power of the risen Christ at work in and through them, as seen in the healing of the crippled man.
Dearest friends in Christ, the peace of the Risen Christ is our trademark and we must spread it to all peoples. Let us allow the light of the Risen One bring new life to our souls and hearts by the peace he offers. On this day, I wish the Peace of Christ to all peoples battling in this trying time of the threat of COVID-19. I wish the peace of Christ to all those who are wearied, tired and hungry in quarantine. My heart goes out to my Nigerian countrymen, especially the poor in quarantine: the victims of hunger and injustice of the government; those faced with cases of domestic violence, robbery, threats to life, etc. Today in Nigeria, we see/hear cases of a so-called group: “one million boys” going about and disturbing the peace of various neighbourhoods, threatening innocent lives, raping women, robbing houses, etc., such that people no longer sleep with their two eyes closed. My heart and prayers are united with you all. May the risen Saviour annihilate the disaster and fear caused as a result of this recent development. We have all gone through difficult times in our lives, humanity is going through a terrible calamity, but we are not going to despair because we know who we put our hope and trust in – our Lord Jesus Christ who cares for us; just as today’s Psalmist puts it: “What is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him?” Therefore, let us allow the light of the Risen One to bring new life to our souls and hearts. Let all fear, dread, terror and panic be annihilated within us. Let us allow the light of the Risen One to bring us hope, encouragement, and a reason to live happily. May the light of the Risen Christ soothe our souls, bring serenity and peace to face adversity with tranquility that does not come from men, but from Heaven.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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