True peace — Silvio José Báez, o.c.d.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
John 20:19–20

On the evening of that unforgettable “first day of the week,” the day of the Lord’s resurrection, “the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews” (Jn 20:19), but “Jesus came and stood among them” (Jn 20:19), talking with them and making a meaningful gesture.

First, he spoke to them to bestow his peace; next, he showed them the wounds on his body.

Jesus greeted the disciples saying to them: “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19,21,26). The disciples were afraid, and surely they felt a sense of guilt. Before his passion, one had betrayed Jesus and sold him, another had denied him, all the others had fled, and now they felt defeated and helpless. Jesus had reason to rebuke and even reject them. However, this wasn’t the case.

Bishop @silviojbaez notes that “Jesus appeared to the disciples, full of mercy. He didn’t reproach them; he didn’t accuse or reject them. Instead, he offered them his peace.”

The peace of Jesus is a source of joy. The text says that “the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord” (Jn 20:20). The disciples rejoiced when they stopped focusing on themselves, placing their attention on Jesus and welcoming his peace.

There is no point in continually accusing and condemning ourselves, brooding bitterly over our faults. Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, who grants us his peace so that we may receive the joy of his forgiveness without limits and conditions.

The peace of Jesus is the embrace of mercy. The peace of Jesus lifts us up without humiliating us; it enables us to be born again, filled with joy. Even if our doors are “closed” (Cf. Jn 20:19), the Lord always seeks us out and is ready to begin again.

Jesus’ greeting, “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19,21,26), isn’t merely an expression of hope or best wishes. The Letter to the Ephesians says Jesus himself “is our peace” because through his love on the cross, he has “broken down the dividing wall” between people, thus “putting to death that hostility,” thereby reconciling all humanity to God (Cf. Eph 2:14-18).

The peace of Jesus imparts to us the joyful certainty of being children who are reconciled with the Father while giving us the profound conviction that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the same God who is Father of all.

When we welcome the peace of the Risen Jesus, we ourselves are resurrected and become peacemakers. We are able to do away with the prejudices that divide, the words that hurt, the walls that separate, and the violence and hatred that destroy life.

If the peace of the Risen Jesus fills our hearts, we will rise to a new life and be the builders of a new world. We will be able to understand and forgive, serve and love; we never will humiliate or offend; we will always forgive and bring joy and hope everywhere we go.

Let us welcome the Risen Lord, who bestows the true peace we really need!

Bishop Silvio José Báez, o.c.d.

Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday (excerpt)
24 April 2022

Bishop @silviojbaez “When we welcome the peace of the Risen Jesus, we ourselves are resurrected and become peacemakers.” #peace #שלום #мир

Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

Featured image: The Appearance of Christ behind closed doors is one of many panels from the Maestà altarpiece in the Cathedral of Siena, Italy, which is, one of the greatest masterpieces of Sienese artist Duccio di Buoninsegna (Siena, c. 1255–1260 – c. 1318–1319).

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