Homily of the 15th of April 2018, Third Sunday of Easter, B
Peace be with you
The Risen Lord in our Gospel today proclaims a message which is highly needed in our world today: PEACE BE WITH YOU! Can there really be peace? Peace have been menaced these days in the world by the canker worm of terrorism, Boko Haram, Al-shabaab, unstable governance, dictatorship, violence, corruption etc. We think of the refugees who are displaced because there is no peace in their countries and towns of origin. At the level of the family peace has been sacrificed on the altar of broken marriages, disobedient children, land and property dispute, jealousy etc. These are dark moments of our lives which the illuminating light of PEACE can dispel.
‘Peace’ features so much in the prayers and the vocabulary of most world religions. It is so common even in secular conversations. Peace is reechoed in the Gloria: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of goodwill ; In the prayers after the Pater Noster: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days; followed by the prayer for peace: Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles, Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will…; The peace of the Lord be with you always; We end the “Lamb of God” saying, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace”; In dismissing the congregation, the priest says, “Go in the peace”. Many prayers in the Church have the word PEACE. We know the great prayer of peace of Saint Francis : Lord make me an instrument of your peace!
The apostles were abashed by the passion and death of their Jesus. In this dark moment of their life, with the absence of their Master, what message could be more consoling than the message of Peace? There are moments in our own life when things seem to be going out of control. The consoling words of peace are also for us.
Christ has given us peace and we must give this peace to the world. What kind of peace do we give to others today? The same NGOs that fight for peace in the world through great conferences and colloquims, happen to be the same multiplying and trafficking arms. The world proposes false peace! Jesus Earlier in the course of his farewell address to his apostles: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; but he added ‘not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn. 14:27).
We give peace during mass to our neighbours when the priest invites us to “offer each other the sign of peace”. Do we really mean Peace? If you turn round and meet your “enemy” in church, can you give him TRUE PEACE? This should not only end in church. As Christians, our very presence in the world must bring. Peace to our neighbourhood, to our homes, our places of work, our schools, and in the streets! The world will become a better place. PEACE BE WITH YOU!
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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