Feast of St. Luke
2 Timothy 4:10-17b
"’Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you." Luke 10:5-6
As I was writing this reflection there was a knock at my office door. A gentleman walked in, someone whom I have known (so I thought!) for a long time. No sooner had he said, "Hi, how are you doing?" he went on to say how grateful he is for our Retreat Center of Holy Name. He went on to talk about the former Passionists whom he met along the way. "Each one of you has touched my life. Each in his own way. Whenever I come here I feel right at home." He went on for a good amount of time pointing out individual Passionists. I sat there and listened. This man finds peace when he comes here.
What a joy to find that there is a loving peace that is extended to each person who walks through our Retreat Center door. Interestingly enough the peace that person finds has enabled him or her to come to grips with a lot of things in their life. What a gift! No one, including me, can easily get a handle on peace if we are in a hostile environment. But if we are surrounded with people (or an individual!) who care for us, love us, we are so fortunate. It is then that you and I can honestly deal with events in our lives that have eluded us, or been pushed out of sight because of the grief or pain that is associated with those events.
I find Jesus’ words in today’s gospel to be so comforting. "’Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you." I find myself ever grateful to so many peaceful persons who have been there for me. I didn’t expect them to solve my problems or break the grip of those problems. Knowing and experiencing the love and concern of those persons have given me the time and place to deal with the truth. Isn’t it something to find peace while talking over a cup of coffee with a dear friend or loved one. And then to experience the strength and honestly to open a door that has been closed for so many years and face whatever is inside.
Thanks to all of my readers who have that wonderful ability to provide a place of peace. May you in turn be gifted with such a place!
Fr. Peter Berendt, C.P. is on the staff of Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center, Houston, Texas.