“The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God.” (St Augustine, City of God)
Peace, the true peace that Christ gives is the sign that God is with us. When Jesus says, “Peace be with you!” this is the peace he imparts. Later, when he reiterates these words in today’s Gospel, Thomas still wants a sign. Are you, like Thomas, seeking a sign in your life of God’s confirmation? When you find Christ’s peace in your soul, the peace that Christ gives, there is your confirmation.
Jesus breathes on his Apostles, as he breathed over the waters at the creation, as he breathed life into the nostrils of Adam. The new Adam, the resurrected Christ, breaths life into his new creation, the Church, making all things new.
With this new creation comes a new way, the way of forgiveness: No more “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.”
Another sign of God’s love and peace in our soul is forgiveness. If you are looking for that sign of peace look to forgive and be forgiven, and you will find it.
“Do not persist in your doubt, but believe.” It is easy for Thomas to doubt. It is easy for anyone to doubt the power of forgiveness and the reality of true peace, if one has not experienced it for oneself. Setbacks, difficulties, and hurt we experience in life naturally turn our hearts skeptical. Christ in our life through the sacraments, especially the sacrament of reconciliation, washes away the doubt and despair. This is why Christ invites Thomas to believe, that is, to turn to him in order to receive his renewing peace and consolation in his soul.
Today’s gospel tells us that “through this belief you may have life in his name.” The belief Jesus asks of us who have not seen is to believe in the healing power of his forgiveness, in the peace he imparts into our soul if we will believe, and in the new life we can share with him, both here and now and in the life to come.
The message of Easter is to live no longer in the hardships of the past, but to live a new life in Christ, a life of faith, joy, hope and peace.
Divine Mercy Sunday
Since today is Divine Mercy Sunday, I wanted to share this video that has been a great spiritual help for me.
This is a recording of the Divine Mercy Chaplet sung as a prayer. It is important to hear this recording as a prayer, not as mere entertainment.
Sometimes I just have this playing in my office while I am working, but I especially like to use it to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I normally don’t pray while listening to music on my iPod, but this song is different, because it is a prayer. So it helps me to pray the chaplet by putting me into the right spiritual disposition for prayer.
Thus I conclude today’s post with a prayer: Holy God! Holy Mighty One! Holy Immortal One! Have Mercy on us and on the whole world!
Hagios ho Theos! Hagios Ischiros! Hagios Athanatos! Eleison emas!