“Peace to you” or, perhaps, the more familiar liturgical usage, “Peace be with you”, has been on my mind these past days.
The expression comes up regularly in the Resurrection story. It often comes from Jesus when the atmosphere in which he appears is full of alarm, fear, meeting behind closed doors, confusion, and bewilderment.
From a purely human perspective (and we might just take a little moment to imagine ourselves in their situation), a most horrible, angry, searing time of cruelty, betrayal, and violence towards Jesus. Not just that of the soldiers, simply doing their job (as no doubt that will be the excuse in Myanmar), but the connivance and hypocrisy of the spiritual leaders of the people as well as that of the Roman officials.
You can well imagine the disciples muttering “What’s going on?” and even using some language known only to the fisherfolk!
Now their insecure world is tipped upside down again…Resurrection!
In the middle of this they hear the words, “Peace to you”. He must be joking. Peace in these times! He must be joking.
What does he mean? What is he offering?
No wonder he chided them!
Later they would remember and put to writing, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”
Still, what does this mean? What are we given?
Many are the realities of our time with all sorts of violence but, like Jesus long ago, our gift today to the broken world is peace.
Peace in our hearts,
Peace in our dealings,
Peace in our relationships.
I think that peace in this context means you don’t have to be alarmed or distressed provided you have committed yourself to he who is the way the truth and the life.
What do you think?
Let us strive to be active people of peace this week!