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Saturday, April 6, 2013

My deep peace I give to you

In today's Gospel Christ appears to the frightened apostles.  He crosses over their makeshift boundary of locked doors and reaches them exactly where they need to be reached: in their fear. Surprisingly, the Christ does not say things like "fear not" or "calm down" or "get a grip" or "what part of rebuilding the temple in three days did you not understand?" No. He utters a word. He is the Word made flesh. And now a Word called PEACE. He is our peace. And then he does something majestically creationistic: He breathes on them. He gives them His very breath. This should sound alarm bells for anyone paying attention to Old Testament exegesis. In that beautiful passage of Genesis, we see God in Chapter 2 doing the same thing to Adam right after He created him:
...the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  Genesis 2: 6-7 (emphasis mine)
Notice that man became a living being only after the God-breath entered him. We can unmistakably see this connection in the upper room, now penetrated by the Living God as he breathes onto the 12 a new breath of life; one that would cast away fear. One that would make the shadow of Peter a source of healing and grace. One that would send that tiny group of Palestinian nobodys out into the world to baptize all nations in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The old has passed away...the new has come. Behold, I come to give life and give it to the full!

A small group of friends and I attended the Chrism Mass on Monday during Holy Week, where I had the pleasure of seeing this ritual action right there in the liturgy. Bishop breathed on the sacred oils that would be distributed to all the parishes for our annual sacramental needs. The sacred oils are used to "seal the deal" so to speak in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick. Never was the point driven home so beautifully after having heard the gospel for this Mercy Sunday. I'm glad God associated PEACE with driving out fear. It is a blessing of mercy, courage and it is the gift of God's very life breath in us. It is our divine consolation and a foretaste of heaven in which we place all our hope.

If you are meeting fear or struggles today, may you take a deep breath and find his Peace.

2 comments:

  1. Karen,
    Might I suggest you put a link to "Evangelium Vitae" as well as "Humanae Vitae" at the bottom. While HV was extremely prescient and so very necessary, EV however to me is a complete announcement of the Magesterium's treatment of all life issues and the impact on humanity. thanks, Rich N.

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  2. That's a great suggestion Rich....and an oversight on my part. thanks

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