In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus promises, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Peace? What does Jesus mean by that? On this weekend that we observe Memorial Day, honoring those who gave their lives in battles for peace and freedom, peace still seems to be elusive in our day. Despite the victories in past wars, and despite all of the energy and resources we put into protecting ourselves, we still are not at peace. Perhaps we are looking for peace in the wrong place. Jesus urges, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” His words refocus us to the question, “What needs to happen in our hearts so that we can find peace.?” In contrast to today’s uneasy balance of power, Jesus modeled an authentic peace, which is far beyond what the world can offer. It is a peace that begins and ends in love. Tensions in families are often unavoidable. However, which is more likely to bring reassuring healing to this friction? Anger and revenge, or compassion and forgiveness? Turbulence in the markets can leave us greedily scrambling for an economic advantage, or we can humbly trust God to provide for our needs. Fear can alert us that something is dangerously wrong, but it can also paralyze us in the face of the threat. Solid solutions come from unruffled confidence and strong faith. Stress can keep us up at night, damage our health and suck the joy out of life. If we relax our bodies and quiet our brains, we can approach life with a more productive focus. We can become hardened to the strangers waiting at our borders, sleeping under our bridges, or languishing in our jails. Or the strangers can become our brothers and sisters, as we can extend a warm embrace, a helping hand and a patient concern. In the end, we can allow the world’s anxieties to empty our hearts, or we can open them to the fullness of love. What we can do as Christians to make peace when we find ourselves trapped in division and turmoil? In his priceless wisdom, Jesus gives His love freely and encourage us to invite His Spirit of love to dwell in our hearts. If we live in that love, we will be transformed into the peace Christ promises!
A couple of things you may have noticed (or not)…… one, to make it easier for those with disabilities, we have installed automatic power assist to one door at every entrance to the church and one into the PLC from the church vestibule. In the past, the only door with power assist was at the rear of the church off the small parking lot. Secondly, we have installed new sconce lighting in church. The old fixtures were inefficient and some were broken. The new fixtures are attractive and contain highly efficient LED bulbs. Thanks to Steve Dodd who planned and installed all of the new fixtures gratis. We are also looking at more efficient and brighter lighting for the church. Next, using the profits from last years’ MercyFest, new sound system equipment is being installed in the church on May 28th and 29th. And, last of all, there is a 10 slot bicycle rack near the entrance of church. A smaller rack is back by the chapel.
Have a safe Memorial Day holiday, and join us for Mass on Memorial Day at 9:00AM.