Peace Be With You

“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:

4 Replies to “Peace Be With You”

  1. I heard Fr. Pacwa speaking about the word Peace, as it appears in Scripture and in our Liturgy. He pointed out that the word Hebrews would use, Shalom, means much more than what we think of as Peace. It means wholeness, completeness, health and perfection in every way.

    I found this page which explains some of this:

    Fr. Pacwa was also saying that it means “right relationship”. Finding peace is finding yourself in proper relationship to authority, to God, your family and the World.

    I always get more out of it when I think of it that way in Mass.

  2. During the Easter season, Lutheran pastors greet their parishioners:

    Pastor: Christ is Risen!
    Parishioners: (loudly and joyfully) He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

    I enjoy this Easter greeting, a simple yet profound expression of faith unique to Christians. It’s full of awe, and wonder, and conviction. I suppose it wouldn’t be as special if it were a year-round greeting, but I always miss it when we move into the season of Pentecost.

    To my amusement, a parochial vicar who used to be assigned at my family’s Catholic parish said he tried the same greeting, with limited success:

    Priest: Christ is Risen!
    Parishioners: ?!! *blink*

    1. I believe it’s an Eastern Orthodox custom during the Easter Season to greet with:

      “Christ is Risen!”

      to which the person being greeted would respond:

      “He is Risen, indeed!”

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