Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect…

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

It’s time to rest with God……to rest in God. This hour…..this moment…..rest in God.

Good-bye to all goals, projects, structures, situations, feelings, thoughts….I am in meditation, in contemplation, resting in God, abiding in God.

Today’s meditation is on the farewell gift of Jesus: The gift of PEACE.

He said that this was not the kind of peace the world would give. It is enduring peace, lasting peace, eternal peace. The word for peace used in this context is “shalom” and shalom means “total Well-being”, “the highest good”, “that which befits God”. It is not the absence or the end of war or conflict. It is the presence of shalom, even in the midst of tension. This is the kind of peace, shalom that Jesus experienced in loving and fulfilling the Father’s will.

Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you. Jn. 14:27

Blessed are the peacemakers. They will become sons of God. Mt. 5:9

Be compassionate as our Father is compassionate. Lk.6:36

Peace is God’s gifts, the divine resource, as it were, waiting to be tapped into, experienced and enjoyed.

The Peace that lives within empowers us to go on in hope, even when storms of life disrupt relationships, incredible tragedies happen, mega-companies lie and cheat the public, ministers of God sin and abuse their privileges and so on.

“Seek what you seek, but not where you seek it. Your heart has been made for God and it shall be restless until it rests in Him”. (St. Augustine)

Remember……..Deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental truth of God, of the Sacred Presence, of Sacred Love, of Sacred peace. It may be obscured by many things, but it sure is there for us to touch, to feel, to experience, to celebrate – to dwell, to rest, to abide………

The Peace that lives within remains an ever renewable “wellspring of courage” because that Peace is of God and that peace is God himself. What is of God and from God will never die, but will endure forever!

In the Gospel of Luke, we read about two disciples on the road to Emmaus, discussing all the events surrounding the death of Jesus (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus came along and began to walk with them. The disciples did not recognize him. They were preoccupied with the events and failed to see anything beyond. They walked with fears, anxieties and doubts!

Jesus and these disciples entered into a deep conversation about the events surrounding the death of Jesus. Jesus explained to them about how the Scriptures were fulfilled in his death, stayed with them and shared their bread. He opened their eyes and they saw and they believed. And they said, “Were not our hearts burning inside us as he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures?” There was a longing, an urgent longing in their hearts…there was a passion and they became aware of it and their hearts were set on fire and they returned to tell the others their experience………

Learn to listen to your heart…..listen to the gentle whispers of the Spirit…..get in touch with the longing in your heart…..the Spirit of God moves us from within.

Look beyond what you see and what you hear………the disciples had to learn to look beyond to see their Savior and Lord.

Changed by the Easter event, Peter began making very bold proclamations about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:14, 22-33). The man who denied knowing Jesus has now risen to great courage and freedom that he can now affirm who Jesus is for him and for the world. The man who was afraid to give witness to Jesus now says: “This is the Jesus whom God has raised up and we are his witnesses”.

Peter found a new freedom to be the witness of the life, death and resurrection his master, Jesus, because he found in Him what Jesus promised as His farewell gift: Peace! He could now speak (1 Peter 1:14-25) of a life without Christ as a life characterized by ignorance and futility and dominated by desire. He began to describe a Christ-centered or Christ-filled life as a life of holiness, obedience, reverence and brotherly love.

A life of “reverence” is an attitude of mind, a quality of presence, a quality of awareness of being in the presence of God, being in Harmony with God and with all. The reason for this reverence is that we are pilgrims living in the shadow of eternity, life in this world is leading to the life beyond and life has been redeemed by the life and death of Christ. Life is precious, of infinite value and it cannot be wasted away, but must be revered.

Peter found His gift, the farewell gift that Jesus promised: Peace! And that peace gave him the wisdom and the courage that he needed to proclaim his master as the center and source of His life.

The risen Jesus gives us a new power and freedom to be his witnesses in the world. Learn to live a Christ-centered, Christ-filled life, a life of holiness, obedience, reverence, love and peace.

The Peace that Jesus offers is not passive acceptance of things – but active, creative, dynamic facing all that life brings and dealing with them – the making of peace, even when the way of peace is a struggle.

Jesus said, Peace-makers will be called “Sons of God”, God-like persons, doing God-like work. The person who works for peace is engaged in work which the God of peace is doing (Rom.15:33; 2Cor.13:11; I Thess.5:23).

“Die when I may, I would like it to be said of me that I always pulled up a weed and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” (Abraham Lincoln)

The Jewish Rabbis held that the highest task, which a man can perform, is to establish right relationship between man and man – peacemaking, the force that binds/unites – the force that brings harmony.

Shalom, Peace means everything which constitutes the highest good of “man”. It means making the world a little better place to live in, lifting others a little more, lifting the world a little further on.

Jesus said, “Peace is my farewell to you. My peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful.” (John 14:27)

A great Russian mystic, St. Seraphim of Sarov used to say: “acquire peace in you and thousands around you will find it”. We must never underestimate the force of that peace that comes from the heart!

St. Paul advises us, “Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice. Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous or worthy of praise. Live according to what you learned and accepted what you heard me say or seen me do. Then will the God of peace be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).”

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: they will be called sons of God”
(Mt. 5:9)

Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring forgiveness and healing.

Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring wholeness and integrity

Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring harmony, unity, and purity.

Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring their best to the world.

Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring the best out of others.

Blessed are the peacemakers: their presence brings joy.

Blessed are the peacemakers: they bring no harm to others.

The heart of peacemakers is like the heart of God – LOVE, pure and simple.

A great Jewish teacher Hillel taught, “If you find yourself in a situation where there are no human beings, strive to be a human being”. In the same manner, if you find yourself in a situation where there are no peaceful persons, strive to be a peaceful person and if you find yourself in a situation where there are no peacemakers, strive to be a peacemaker.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father, Brothers all are we.

Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me; Let this be the moment now.

With every step I take, Let this be my solemn vow;

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth. And Let it begin with me.

My Prayer for you:

May you fearlessly dream, speak, stand and work for justice and peace!

May you make no peace with oppression, injustice, violence or war!

May you strive to be a shining witness of reconciliation, harmony and peace!

May you reach across boundaries and barriers to form community with all people!

And may God who has loved you without measure fill you with blessings and grace and the experience of joyful communion of the saints of God……..

Peace is possible! Believe it! Love it! Be passionate about the peace that resists war and violence that longs and waits for the day when weapons will be silent.

Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs

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