the sign of peace
" 'Peace' is My farewell to you, My peace is My gift to you." —John 14:27
What we receive from someone's last will and testament can be a very personal and special expression of their love for us. In His will, the Lord left His disciples peace. By "peace," Jesus means "shalom," harmony, a taste of paradise, a foretaste of heaven. This is obviously not the peace that the world gives (Jn 14:27). It is a peace beyond human understanding (Phil 4:7). This shalom-peace is stronger than death and will last forever. It can be produced only by the Holy Spirit (see Gal 5:22).
It is significant that Jesus promised to leave us this peace on the evening before His death. Then by dying He made "peace through the blood of His cross" (Col 1:20). This shows us how the Holy Spirit produces peace. The Holy Spirit makes peace through us, especially when we carry our daily crosses (see Lk 9:23). When we are dying daily to ourselves, we create a world of peace. When we refuse to die to ourselves and insist on living selfishly, we not only do not make peace but worsen the war in our world.
The Lord died to give us peace. Receive this peace and make peace through the cross. Blessed are the peacemakers (Mt 5:9).
Prayer: Father, when I give the sign of peace at Mass, may I mean it the way You want me to mean it.
Promise: "They called the congregation together and related all that God had helped them accomplish, and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." —Acts 14:27
Praise: St. Bernardine found his peace in the name of Jesus and was known for spreading devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus and Peace on audio AV 42-1 or video V-42.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002