Gospel Thoughts, 11 April 2010, Sunday After Easter

March 29, 2010 at 18:50 Leave a comment

11 April 2010

From the Pastor’s Desk . . .

In today’s Gospel Story (John 20:19-31) Jesus’ disciples had locked themselves in a room because they were afraid of what the people might do to them in the aftermath of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Despite the locked doors Jesus appears in the room and says to them, “peace be with you”. He spends some time teaching them, and then goes away. They didn’t seem to get what Jesus was teaching them, because a week later they still were locking themselves in the room. Jesus appears again, and again says “peace be with you”. This tells us something about the power of fear to keep us from knowing peace, as well as Jesus’ determination to offer us his peace, knowing full well that we do not have to accept it if we choose not to.

We might find it easy to close our doors when we are uncertain or afraid of something. While we might feel we are doing this to protect ourselves, we are really cutting ourselves off from the One of can do this better than we can. Jesus does not call us to feel safe, but to trust him and live open to him. When we are focused on living in him, everything else in our life becomes an adventure as we come to know how real and present he truly is.

As we look around the world today we see there is not much peace. Our brothers and sisters in uniform are in dangerous places in an effort to bring peace to people who do not seem to understand or want it. We know peace cannot be imposed from without, but can come only from within. It is a gift that we receive and are called to share with others. In our efforts to know peace ourselves we must first of all choose to spend time with the Source of true peace, Christ. We cannot just choose to be peaceful. We can only choose to do what we can to spend time with Christ every day, even if just a few minutes, and go where this takes us. We have to open our lives so everything in us is open to Christ. On this journey we come to know how real Christ and the peace he offers us really are.

Our role becomes simply a matter of living each day as a continuation of our time with Christ, doing what we are called to do, not meeting violence with more violence, because then we are contributing to a never ending cycle. As we begin to examine our day we come to sense that everything in our day is somehow connected to our time with Christ. Peace comes as a breakthrough, even as we have from time to time locked the doors of our life because we were afraid. When we choose to accept Christ’s offer of peace, this breakthrough happens in our own life. It is an ongoing relationship that we consent to, doing our best to be open to the presence of grace, and going wherever this takes us.  

We are so aware of the tremendous power for good each of us in the military has that we often overlook it or take it for granted. It is almost commonplace to watch soldiers taking care of soldiers and others who cannot take care of themselves. Caring and helping is something we justifiably are proud of, and we are good at it. As our community lives through yet another deployment, we have a lot to think and pray about. Without in any way trying to force our views on each other, we might look at the tremendous power for peace that is offered each of us. Without judging others among us as to whether or not we see things the same way, we might each in our own way give serious thought to opening our doors to Christ in our own life to hear Christ speaking to us and saying, “Peace be with you”, and beg the grace to go where this takes us.


Entry filed under: Army, Army Families, Army Wives, Catholic, Gospel thoughts, Priest.

Gospel Thoughts for Easter 2010 Retiring

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