the sign of peace
" 'Peace' is My farewell to you." —John 14:27
Shortly before His death, Jesus put us in His last will and testament. As His farewell gift, He left us peace. Jesus gave us this peace not as the world gives peace; therefore, we need not be distressed or fearful (Jn 14:27). From Jesus, we have a peace beyond all understanding, under circumstances anything but peaceful (Phil 4:7).
For example, Paul was stoned by the people of Lystra. They "dragged him out of town" (Acts 14:19). Paul showed a peace and courage beyond understanding. He was not distressed or fearful. At a later occasion, Paul even stopped to convert the jailer during a jailbreak. The jailer was so impressed by Paul's peaceful assurance that he asked: "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30)
We can also have the "peace beyond understanding" that Paul so dramatically expressed. Before Jesus' death, He promised us: "I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world" (Jn 16:33). After Jesus' resurrection, the first thing He said to His apostles was: "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19). "When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced. 'Peace be with you,' He said again" (Jn 20:20-21). Receive Jesus, "Who is our Peace" (Eph 2:14). Then "cultivate peace" (Jas 3:18).
Prayer: Risen Jesus, when I give the sign of peace at Mass, may it not be a mere formality but a life-changing reality.
Promise: "You have heard Me say, 'I go away for a while, and I come back to you.' If you truly loved Me you would rejoice to have Me go to the Father." —Jn 14:28
Praise: Joan receives the gift of peace by frequent reception of the Eucharist and by marking the anniversary of her First Communion in a special way.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006
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