When the angels announced to the world the incomparable, unprecedented joy of Jesus' birth, they made two promises:
. . . one in favor of heaven, the other in favor of earth; the former, the glory of God; the latter, peace to men of good will. Both of these pledges include and summarize the entire work of Jesus Christ in this world: to give glory to God and to bring peace to souls. Peace is the gift that Jesus Christ brought us from heaven, his gift, the gift of God; a gift so beautiful, so profound, so all-embracing, so efficacious, that we shall never truly comprehend it.
We might say concerning peace what our Lord said of himself to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well: If you knew what it is God gives (Jn 4:10). Truly, if we but understood this God-given gift of peace, we could appreciate how it is the synthesis, the very climax, so to speak, of all the graces and heavenly blessings which we have received in Christ Jesus.
Peace is the seal of Christ. It is not just one of his many gifts; it is, in a certain way, his own gift. On that unforgettable night, the last that he spent on earth, the sweet night of the Cenacle and the Eucharist, Jesus left peace to his loved ones as a testament of his love: Peace is my bequest to you (Jn 14:27). Our Lord's customary greeting to his Apostles after his resurrection was this: Peace be upon you! Furthermore, he recommended that in pursuing their apostolic mission, they should always say these words upon arriving at any house: Peace be upon you.
Holy Church, the perpetuation of Jesus himself throughout the centuries, understands our Lord's spirit thoroughly. Adopting her Master's expression in her liturgy, she constantly invokes peace upon her children. While imparting peace to us, she disposes us to give peace to one another. Almost all the sacramental rites terminate with an expression of peace. The newly baptized, the Christian strengthened by confirmation, the sinner purified in the sacrament of penance, all receive a message of peace: "Peace be with you" or "Go in peace." The Church has done nothing else nor does she intend to do anything else than to give glory to God and peace to men of good will. She has no other mission.
Archbishop Luis Maria Martinez. "Peace Be with You." from Only Jesus. (Providence RI: Cluny Media, 2020).
Reprinted with permission from Cluny Media.
Servant of God Luis Maria Martinez (1881-1956) was Archbishop of Mexico City, a philosopher, a theologian, a poet, and a director of souls. Among his books are Only Jesus, True Devotion to the Holy Spirit, When God is Silent, and Worshipping a Hidden God, Unlocking the Secrets of the Hidden Life.Copyright © 2020 Cluny Media
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