From the Pastor – April 12, 2015

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.” (Jn 20:19-21a)

How do we define peace?  Politically, it can defined  as an “absence of conflict.”  If we are busy at work, it might mean “no interruptions.”  Some parents might equate peace with their kids being asleep or at their grandparents for the night.  Peace happens to some people when their cell phone finally runs out of batteries or when a power outage knocks out the internet and the television.  Oftentimes we actually “seek” peace in different ways.  We can seek it by going to a quiet room, finding a secluded tree in the park, or going on a vacation to the mountains or a quiet island.

So why does Jesus say that He gives us peace “not as the world gives.”  What does He mean?  I guess the obvious thing is that He doesn’t mean it in the ways I’ve described above.  Generally, when Jesus says that something is not “of the world,” then He’s saying it’s from somewhere “out of the world”:  from Heaven.  So what is it about this Heavenly peace?  What makes it different from worldly peace?  The answer can be found in places where earthly peace meets Heavenly peace.  Many of us have gone on spiritual retreats.  We know that this time can be important by allowing us to remove ourselves from the world of distractions and concentrate on the most important things.  But we don’t just retreat from noise into quiet.  We retreat from the temporal world to seek eternity.  The peace of Christ isn’t found by an absence of conflict, interruptions, noise or technology.  The peace of Christ is a gift given to those who seek Christ.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The peace of Christ comes from Christ.  And if we want His peace, it’s there waiting for us in the quiet contemplation of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.  On Tuesdays from 4:45pm – 5:45pm, Christ is visible in the monstrance for Adoration in in St Stephen Church.  On Thursdays from 7:00am – 8:00am, He is visible for Adoration in St Henry Church.  Before Mass, we can spend some time to experience His peace.  After Mass, we can linger and spend some time to experience His peace.  Over at Holy Name Parish, Christ is present 24/7/365 in the Adoration Chapel on the corner of Palmer and LaSalle Place.

After you’ve tried all the other ways to peace, seek the peace that the world can’t give.  It’s the peace of eternity.  And it’s found in Christ.  And not only is it the peace the world can’t give;  it’s the peace the world can’t take away.

Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty