Tuesday, October 10, 2023


Dear Parishioners,

Peace, shalom, mir, pax.

When Jesus appeared to His disciples in the upper room after His resurrection, he offered them peace.  

. . . Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. [Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you”. . . (Jn. 20: 19b-21a) 

If anyone could have rightly inflicted vengeance or retaliation on those who harmed Him, Jesus is top of the list. However, He showed us all another way.

Peace is not just an absence of war or conflict. When a Jewish person greets someone or bids farewell, he or she might typically use the word shalom. The word means much more than simply a greeting of peaceShalom may mean completeness, soundness, safety, welfare, health, prosperity, tranquility, contentment, and/or friendship. It comes from the Hebrew verb shalam, which means to be complete, sound or whole.
In the world today we find many people who do not have peace in their lives. Beyond those who live in war-torn countries or areas with great civil unrest like Ukraine or Israel, we find people who are sometimes angry, mean-spirited, hateful, deeply troubled, confused, anxious, chaotic, etc., —anything but peaceful.

People search for peace, happiness and fulfillment in various ways. Sometimes it is wealth, material possessions, physical pleasure, power, authority, various thrills, etc. Worldly things, however, do nothing to fill the deepest desires of the human heart that only God can fill. What was it that St. Augustine said long ago in his ConfessionsYou have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

I am convinced that true and lasting peace comes from a right relationship with the Lord. The world cannot give this kind of peace.  It is simply impossible.  Why could Christian martyrs sing on the way to their deaths?  How can some people bear tremendous crosses in life without really complaining?  How do some people seem so confident and unafraid in the midst of extremely difficult or troubling situations?  I suspect it may have something to do with an interior peace and even a joy that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit working within us. St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Galatians . . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control. (Gal. 5:  22-23)

The world is a scary place to live in right now. Unfortunately, it will never achieve a true and lasting peace without the realization that Almighty God must be the source of it. Not a false god who seeks retaliation, revenge or utter elimination of one’s enemy, but someone who challenged His followers to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them (See Mt. 5: 44).  Supernatural grace is needed.

My prayer is that the world and each of you may know the true and lasting peace that the Lord Jesus is offering us!  Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (Jn. 14: 27) 


Fr. Ed Namiotka

No comments:

Post a Comment