“Peace I leave with you…”
“Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom…” This is the prayer for peace and unity we invoke before partaking of Christ’s body and blood at every Eucharistic celebration. And at the end of the celebration, we are dismissed with the parting words: “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord…”
The Eucharist, as the center and source of all Christian life, gives us the gift of shalom, Christ’s own peace, and his other gifts. Through baptism, partaking in the Eucharist, receiving forgiveness through reconciliation and the sealing of our lives with the Holy Spirit in confirmation, we as Church pass on the same gifts that Jesus left to his followers. As these gifts connect us to God, these also draw us together as the body of Christ, calling us out into the world.
Because we are a people gifted with Christ’s peace and love, we are called to action, that is, to share the divine life that Christ has won for us through His death and resurrection. Because we are a people chosen and anointed by Christ, we are called “to proclaim the Good News to the poor, bring freedom to captives and announce the time of God’s favor…” We are as a priestly, prophetic and kingly people, mandated to continue Christ’s ministry of unity and healing.
God has given Himself in Jesus Christ so that we may see Him with the eyes of faith. In our respective lives, we are called to be authentic reflections of God’s presence within ourselves, giving us the courage to bring Christ’s peace and love to a world of hatred and indifference.