As we enter into the sixth Sunday of Easter, the theme is Peace. Preparation to celebrate Pentecost.
The peace of the Risen Lord be with you.
For most of us, peace is understood to mean the absence of conflict or disturbance in our lives. We long for “peace and quiet.” In our homes, office, neighbourhood and church communities.
The peace and happiness enjoyed from worldly means; materialism, secularism, hedonism, fame and fortune is but only temporary, for these do not last, they will eventually fade and disappear and in it place, sadness and emptiness ensues.
Real peace and joy can only come from walking the way of Jesus, who gives us the gift of peace but not as the world gives peace.
The peace of Christ is like, being in the eye of a storm, a hurricane. That is, in spite of the conflicts and disturbance in and around our lives, there is inner Peace, calmness, patience, love, joy and forbearance.
Jesus calms the storms in our lives, our hearts. He calmed the storm in the sea of Galilee.
So, we too can calm the storms in our lives (our hearts) with Jesus, the Word of God. By reading Sacred scriptures. Read the Holy Bible daily and let our minds, hearts be nourished by the Word of God, that will bring true peace.
In conjunction with the Word of God, the first thing that must happen, for true peace to happen, is, we Must Forgive!
How can we forgive? We ask Our Heavenly Father to forgive us through His Son, in the sacrament of reconciliation.
“If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
-1 John 1:9
God is merciful, His steadfast love for us endures forever. Psalm 130:3-4 “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be revered.” That the God of Hope will fill us with all Joy and Peace as we trust in Him. So that we may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Once we have received the Peace of Christ, we then need to bring, share His Peace and love with others, in our community, neighbourhood, workplace and home, especially, to those who do not know of Jesus, the unbaptised, the poor, the hungry and outcasts. Jesus commanded us “Love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12 .
We need to cultivate and nurture in our parish community a spirit of hospitality, of warmly welcoming each other, especially those who are new to our parish.
During Lent, we had repented and returned to the way of Christ. Now in preparation to celebrate Pentencost in 2 weeks time, during our parish Easter Octave celebrations, central in the celebrations, there is the sharing of the Word of God, community fellowship and praise and worship.
A prayer that all the nations sing praise to God Almighty.
Be exalted , O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
Jesus promises his disciples that the Father will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit in his name. John 14:26 .. on Pentecost, who will remind us of everything that Jesus had taught His disciples and bring us peace so that we too may proclaim the Good News to others.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
– Acts 1:8
Just as Jesus was preparing his disciples for his return to The Father, (His Ascension), so we too may prepare our hearts for the coming of the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost.
As our celebration of the Easter season is drawing closer to Pentecost, the liturgy reminds us that Jesus remains with us through the Holy Spirit. “..and remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
How can I grow in Holiness, in my awareness of God our Father, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit who dwells within me?
How can I be more attentive to the presence of Jesus, the Holy Spirit in my sisters and brothers?
Who can I share the peace and joy of the Risen Lord with, this Easter?
“In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it.” Pope Francis
The Peace & Joy of the Risen Lord be with you
Jovian & Philip