Sunday, April 7, 2013

Christ Bearer of Peace

In order to understand today’s readings, we need to understand Christ’s mission in light His own preaching.  In Luke 4, Jesus announces, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  The year acceptable to the Lord in Jewish history is the great Jubilee, which was supposed to happen every 7 x 7 years, but never did.  In the Jubilee, slaves would be set free.  Those who had lost their ancestral homes would regain them.  The land would lie fallow and all God’s people would celebrate and give thanks for His goodness.

This is the context in which Luke writes his account of apostolic ministry.  Just as Jesus said he would proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, the Apostles bring liberty to those bound up by disease and demonic possession.  The Apostles are bringing about the peace and mercy promised in the Jubilee.  This is the day that the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it, for this mission is still ours today.  Everyone one of us is called by God to bring about this Jubilee in the world.

In the Gospel, Jesus says to the disciples gathered in the upper room “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Jesus has given us a mission of evangelization.  By proclaiming the word of God, a message of reconciliation, we bring peace to the world.  By our Baptism and Confirmation, we share in the anointing of Jesus the Messiah.  Just as Jesus said “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (Luke 4:18), so Jesus breathes the Spirit onto us so that we might announce God’s mercy to the world.  There used to be disharmony and conflict between God and men, but through Jesus, God has reconciled all things to Himself, making peace by the blood of His cross (Col 1:20).  We are sent by Jesus Himself to carry out this mission, applying the blood of the Cross to people in all nations.

And what is peace?  It is tempting to think of peace as the absence of war or conflict. But’s that’s lame.  A good can’t be the absence of an evil.  Evil is the absence of a good.  War is the absence of peace not the other way around.  Peace is right order and harmony.  We are at peace when everything in our life is being rightly ordered towards God.  When all that we say and do is directed towards knowing and loving God, then we is at peace.  It’s very much like being a well-oiled machine.  All the parts work together and none of them grind against the other.  Everything flows smoothly.  We are at peace with our neighbors when we are of one heart and mind.  We are at peace with our neighbors when we love them setting them free from the captivity of sickness and sin, blindness and error so that they might live in the fullness of life.  Peace comes when we live in the freedom of the children of God.

Peace comes when the Divine mercy is amongst us.  Three times in the Gospel today Jesus says, “Peace be with you.”  He bears peace into the world from His Father.  By receiving Christ’s peace by living under the influence of the Spirit, we not only find harmony within ourselves, but we bring peace to the world.  This peace finds its fulfillment in the Jubilee when all God’s people give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.


  1. Thanks for shedding some light on the subject! I understand more each week and this helps! Keep up the good work!

  2. How then do you account for all of the blood-stained horrors of Christian history, all of which was commited by agents of the church , and most often with the "blessing" of the eccliastical establishment in the time and place in which the slaughters occurred?
    A case in point are the Papal Bulls of 1455 and 1493 which "authorised" in the "name of 'God'" and for the "glory of 'Christ'" the brutal invasion of the America's and the wholesale theft of its resources from the original inhabitants. And thus by extension the entire Western colonial mis-adventure - which still continues.
    This one stark image sums up what happened.
    Plus words and images
    Plus the applied poltics of the early 21st century
    Note the unspeakably vile sado-masochistic snuff/splatter movie being reviewed in the last reference.
    Also Google Columbus and Other Cannibals by Jack Forbes: The Vatican in World Politics: The Criminal History of the Papacy by Tony Bushby.
    Meanwhile there are now more Catholics in the world than ever before, both in total numbers and as a percentage of the human population. And yet the world is becoming more and more insane every day.

  3. @Anonymous: thanks for the questions! The New Testament never promises that all Christians will be perfect. In fact, it makes clear that some will be quite evil. Consider this passage, "“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.k 16   l By their fruits you will know them."

    These people act this way because while they say they have fellowship with Jesus and the Church, they in fact don't. "If we say we have fellowship with Him while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in the Truth" 1 Jn 1:6.

    While the Church has done some evil things. Pope John Paul II public apologized for the evil in the Church. You can read about in on any major news source:

    Moreover, you can't ignore all the good the Church has done through out history. She is the largest charitable organization. She founded the modern university system. She is a major provider of health care around the world.

    Consider watching this video.!

    To conclude, you present an awfully one sided and thus distorted picture of the Catholic Church.