May 4, 2021
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 286

Acts 14:19-28
Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21
John 14:27-31a

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Finding Hope in the Easter Season

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Some very moving words were spoken by Jesus when he said to his disciples: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. How comforting it must have been to the disciples to hear this, for the peace Christ was giving came from a man who had confronted Satan, performed countless miracles and was always calm, even in a raging storm. Here was Jesus sharing his very own peace with them.

So memorable and powerful are these words that they became part of the Order of Mass and the Communion Rite, when just after the Lord’s Prayer, the priest turns to the people, extending and then joining his hands, and adds: The peace of the Lord be with you always. The people reply: And with your spirit. Then, if appropriate, the deacon or the priest adds: Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

In the good old pre-COVID days, after these words were said, we would offer each other a sign of peace, be it giving our spouse and children a hug or a peck on the cheek, shaking hands with those next to us, or waving to others who were further away, like we were running for office.

But what kind of peace are we truly sharing? Are we at peace with ourselves and sincere in our offer of peace, or are we somewhere else, maybe thinking about leaving before the final blessing to avoid the traffic jam after Mass? Or, are we more Christ-like, and with our blessing of peace, encouraging to all with whom we share it to not let their hearts be troubled, for God is watching over each and every one?

If we are sincere, then the peace we offer and the peace we receive is empowering. With the peace of Christ, our fears are allayed, our emotions held in check, and we can go forth and serve the Lord, just as Jesus did for the disciples in the locked room where they were hiding for fear of prosecution. His offer of peace was made to help take away their stress and anxiety and embolden them to go out and preach the Good News.

The same can be true for us. Like the disciples, by receiving and sharing the sign of peace at Mass, we can leave our worries and fears in God’s hands and when we depart Mass, go out and share our faith, loving one another as God loves us.

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