Acts of the Apostles 3:11-26
The Easter Octave: "Peace Be With You"
In almost all of his resurrection appearances, Jesus greets his disciples by words of "peace". He seems eager to dispel any fear in their hearts…and when you think about it, without faith we humans have every reason to fear. Sickness, economic uncertainty, loneliness, violence, hunger, etc.: all are too common in today’s world, just as it was in the time of Jesus.
The risen Jesus shows us that we have no reason to fear the future. In His life, death, and resurrection, He triumphed over sin and death. In his entire ministry of teaching, preaching and healing, Jesus revealed that he has fulfilled all the promises God made throughout the Old Testament era; such was the point St. Peter wanted to make in the sermon that is our first reading today. We can thus be confident that both we and our entire world are in the loving hands of God…there’s no reason to fear.
Jesus’ words of "Peace be with you" are not an empty, casual greeting. They express the great gift of God’s "shalom" which can dissipate all fear from our lives and embolden us to proclaim by word and deed God’s unconditional love for our needy world. Are we women and men of Jesus’ peace? Do we radiate that Christ-centered peace in the 1,001 details of modern life?
As Easter People, alleluia is our song; Jesus’ gift of peace adds a richness that invites the world to sing along. Let’s teach the world to sing…
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.