“Peace be with you” are words we share at Mass. However, this is not just a specifically Catholic form of greeting, and it’s more than a simple expression of best wishes. Instead, this peace is a real gift- a gift that only Jesus can give. In today’s gospel, Jesus gave this peace to his friends when he appeared to them on Easter. Jesus extends this same peace to us at Mass, and invites us to share it with each other.
When Jesus offered his peace to his friends, the wounds of his Passion- the marks of the nails in his hands and feet- were plainly visible for all to see. We know, therefore, that a life touched by his peace is not necessarily free from conflict and pain.
Instead, we might best understand this peace as the peace of heart, and the peace of mind, that comes with the assurance that Jesus is always present with us. It’s the peace of knowing that in the midst of life’s ups and downs, the risen Lord is always at our side- offering us consolation, guidance, and challenge; instilling gratitude, joy, and wisdom; filling us with faith, hope, and charity; calling us to conversion and forgiveness; and strengthening us to carry our cross. With this peace comes an assurance that the Lord will always provide, that his love will never fail, and that the risen life he promises us, will never come to an end.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/042811.shtml