Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Second Sunday of Easter

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 “ and he said to them again: ‘Peace be with you’… ”

Yes, peace! Real, true, deep, lasting, inner peace – the most precious gift of all. This was the first gift of the risen Lord to his disciples, to the very ones who had deserted him and even denied him in his hour of need. It was his liberating gift to them as they were locked together in fear in the Upper Room. ‘Peace be with you’, he said: let not fear or failure, remorse or embarrassment, come between us. Receive my reconciling peace. It is my gift to you.

And then “he said to them again: ‘Peace be with you’”. In the first instance it was the precious gift of the risen Lord to his disciples; the second time it was a solemn commission: ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you’ – sending you out to complete the work my Father had first entrusted to me, to proclaim to the world the way of divine love, a way that embraces truth and justice, reconciliation and peace. It was the message Jesus preached. It was the truth he lived and for which he died. Now in his resurrection the unconquerable power of that truth is displayed. And he has entrusted to us the mission of presenting that truth to the world.

For some it is not so much a truth as a sweet but meaningless dream, easily to be dismissed. But in today’s world, where violence builds on violence, and where power and terror confront each other with escalating determination, we are compelled to listen and to think again. In a society which has been so adversely affected by greed, by abuse, by loss of trust, the longing for true peace has become ever more tangible. The resurrection of Jesus has given fresh impetus to all that he taught and stood for. Death cannot silence his message, nor can the tomb hold back his truth. It is this truth that sets the human family free and brings it healing and salvation. It is to this truth we are called to witness.