Sunday, February 05, 2006
The Peace of Christ
by Thomas Morehead
There is no greater feeling than the blessing of the peace of Christ. All things of this world are transient. They come and they go. Some things make us happy for a time others prove to be frustrating or even painful, but nothing that comes into our lives provides the lasting feeling of joy as does the peace of Christ. So how do we receive this wonderful gift? The good news is all we have to do is accept it. We don’t have to jump any hurtles or qualify in any way. We cannot earn it nor do we deserve it. It is a gift, freely given to those who live in Christ Jesus. All we must do is come to the realization that true happiness, ultimate peace comes from a life lived in Jesus. Once we understand how powerless we are to effect our own well being and turn our life over to Him, the peace that is Jesus Christ will envelop us like an all-protective shield. This He has promised and this He will do.
Throughout the Gospels Jesus refers to children and the poor. He does so in ways that cause us reflect on their situation. What is it about them that He finds so special? The innocence of the child and the total reliance of the poor. Whether they realize it or not they are reliant on others for their survival. Jesus does not condemn money or wealth, but rather the attitude that stems from those who have attained them. Whether we wish to admit it or not, we are not self-reliant. Any measure of ‘success’ that we reach is done so, not through our own doing, but rather by the utilization of the gifts God has given us. How we use those gifts determine our eternal fate. The attitude we have towards those gifts and the result they produce in out lives likewise will determine our fate. We come to Jesus as innocent children, ready to accept His teaching and ready to deny our ‘self-reliance’. We are not a society that easily gives up control. We like to think of ourselves as individuals capable of accomplishing whatever we put our minds to. The truth is that we accomplish nothing, but rather God working through us accomplishes all. The first step to becoming His vessel is acceptance of His Peace.
Have you ever observed that the more of something an individual has the more they want? It is because the things of this world do not satisfy the yearning in our souls for true and lasting happiness. St. Paul said it so beautifully: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” (Ph 4, 6-7).
Pressure, stress… anxiety come into our lives many times because of our unsatisfied desires. When that happens we should stop and realize that maybe we are pursuing fleeting goals that do not result in true happiness. What is our aim, what is our life’s mission? Acceptance of the peace of Christ should be it. There is no better goal. Jesus time and again told us to not be afraid. Stop fearing!
May the Peace of Christ be with you!