Peace Be with You…
One of the most common greetings we hear from Jesus are the words, “Peace be with you.” In every resurrection account up to His ascension into heaven Jesus always greets his friends with this beautiful salutation. The disciples needed to hear these words because they were living in fear. The world as they knew it was just turned upside down. Many ran and hid behind locked doors in fear of being attacked. Jesus wants to give them a great gift, that of Peace.
The Hebrew Bible uses a familiar but significant word, shalom. In its purest sense, shalom means “peace.” The connotation is positive. That is, when someone says, “Shalom,” or “Peace unto you,” it does not mean, “I hope you don’t get into any trouble”; it means, “I hope you have all the highest good coming your way.” Jesus says this greeting as an invitation for all of us. Simply put, if you believe in me, live in peace.
Even when we face challenging times, the same perfect peace that Jesus has is His gift to us now! His peace is not anything like the fragile peace given by the world. His peace is empowering that will help us extinguish all the stress, worry, anxiety and fear that we encounter in our lives today. This invitation allows us to have peace of being always in His presence and striving to do his will.
So how do we obtain this peace? There are three things we must do every day to have this peace in our hearts. First, we must always be deeply rooted in prayer. We should always follow the example of our savior. Jesus spent quality time in prayer every day. We need to follow that example and find time to pray. From the reading of sacred scripture to just being present in quiet prayer helps us refocus and encounter peace.
The second is that we are called to surrender to God all our worries and fears. All to often, we fail to let go and let God. We bring so much worry and fear trying to control what is out of our control. Jesus reminds us that through this greeting, he wants peace in our lives. We need to bring things to him and let go and let GOD.
Finally, as faithful disciples we are called to be instruments of Peace. Imagine what our world would be like if we were instruments of peace; doing what Jesus did in bringing about change in this world. The prayer of St. Francis says, “Make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury pardon, where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy.” In a simple word, we too are called to share the greeting of Shalom for we want the perfect peace for all.
Let us remember and pray that we will accept the greeting of our savior and accept greeting of peace in our lives.