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"Peace be with you" - Divine Mercy Sunday - 040316

Divine Mercy Sunday 2016


You ever get one of those feelings where you get so anxious about something that it feels like your heart is going to leap out of your chest from beating so hard?
I remember being in the seminary and telling my spiritual director about one of those experiences.
I told him that it would really happen on days when I had so much on my schedule, that it felt like I could never truly rest.
I’d be so worried that I’d be late to my next scheduled item
Or that I’d forget something
He sort of just say there and patiently listened to me.
When I finally quieted down, he leans in a bit and asks me if I ever invited God along on my day journey
“Father, I barely have time to think on those days…”
To where he’d reply
“But you have time to think nervously about the next activity”
Oh, the humility in those moments of truth.
“What should I do?”
“Pray”, he would tell me.
Now, this priest, is a very interesting man.
My best comparison would be to tell you to think of someone like yoda being your spiritual director.
He knew that this wasn’t going to be adequate for me.
“Use your imagination to take yourself on a journey to a place where you find the most peace”
I knew almost immediately what that place was… in the quiet seminary chapel in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
I told him about that place, to which he replied
“Good, see how relaxed you are.”
“God gave you your imagination as a tool, use it when you need it”

My friends, on this Divine Mercy Sunday, we get a very rare occurrence
Our lectionary works in three year cycles, and we normally get a different Gospel reading every three years
But we hear this Gospel reading every Divine Mercy Sunday
Why?
The Church thinks that the message of this Gospel is that important.
So what’s going on here:
The Disciples locking themselves in the upper room
They’re scared
They’ve just witnessed their best friend and teacher die on the cross
And they think that they’re next
Any noise that they hear, you have to imagine that their hearts leap out of their chests
But the Lord comes to them in that locked room
He could have said anything.
But the first words out of His mouth were the greatest desire of His heart
We hear it every Mass
He says, “peace be with you.”
It was a great sign of mercy
In these two encounters of the risen Christ, the disciples are reminded that the Lord is with them at all times
He becomes their strength to leave that room
And they go on to do extraordinary things

But we have to remember that many of these Apostles went onto distant lands they did not know
Thomas, according to Tradition, would possibly go the furthest as he made his way to India.
What gave him the strength and perseverance to do what he did?
The peace of the risen Christ

The peace of Christ, my brothers and sisters, is beyond what the world considers peace
As he would go on to say “The peace I leave you, the world cannot give”
It isn’t a lack of conflict
Or quiet moment
Rather the peace of Christ is the invitation to retreat in prayer with Him for a moment
To be transported to another world
So that he can enliven the fire of His love within your heart
To inspire you to go out of yourself and become more of who He made you to be
But you’ve got to leave that upper room, whatever it might be in your life

We all have our fears and anxieties
But we’re never too busy to invite the Lord into our hearts
To bring his peace into our hearts.

He wants to dampen those anxieties so that He may lead you where you know you need to be.