On the occasion of the World Day of Peace, discover how you can welcome in the peace of Jesus on a daily basis.
When the resurrected Lord appears in the midst of His disciples, He says to them, “Peace be with you! “(John 20:19). He gives them his peace and gives it to us as well. But peace is like all God’s gifts — proposed, never imposed. Do we know how to welcome in the peace of Jesus?
1Stop rushing around
Our lives are hectic, overloaded, cluttered. Peace does not abide with noise and haste. It is true that our rhythm of life does not depend on us, at least not entirely, but we tend to invent obligations for ourselves. We don’t know how to stop. We forget that the Lord never asks more of us than our days can hold. Above all, we forget that He commands us to rest: He gives us six days to work and one to rest. Sunday rest is not a luxury reserved for retirees. It is the commandment of a Father who knows what we need better than we do.
2Live in the present moment
Jesus tells us: “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Mt 6:34). So why do we poison life with useless worries? “You cannot serve both God and Money … Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt 6:24-33). To live as a resurrected person is to stake everything on God. It means putting all our trust in Him, not in our savings accounts or insurance policies. It means living like children of the King, who care about nothing because their Father, infinitely good and almighty, never ceases to watch over them.
Regret and remorse disturb peace. What Jesus expects from us is repentance: “a broken and a contrite heart” (Ps 51:17). The heart of the prodigal son returns to his Father. Regret and remorse are sterile, but repentance places us in God’s hands, allows us to accept his forgiveness and peace. We must face our sin to ask for forgiveness and make reparation, as best we can, for the evil we have committed. But we don’t have to “brood” over our sin indefinitely: once God has forgiven us, to go back on it would be to doubt his mercy.
4Learn to forgive
We know that no one can accept God’s forgiveness if they do not forgive their brothers and sisters. Nothing disturbs peace more than when we refuse to forgive—out of ill will (and not because there was no other choice: making the decision to forgive actually helps you enter into forgiveness even if you do not feel capable of forgiving right away) or out of ignorance, because the old wounds have been repressed or forgotten. To live in peace, let us ask the Lord to enlighten us about the forgiveness we should grant.
5To be at peace, you have to build it
Peace is like forgiveness: you can’t just be on the receiving end. You have to be a full participant in its creation, you have to be an artisan of peace. The family, the community where peace inevitably begins, is a good school for this. Becoming an artisan of peace is learned daily in the family, through sharing, through forgiveness, through patience, through respect. Peace is learned in the family, but also from the family: the more harmoniously and peacefully a child can grow up in his or her family, the more they will be able to relate to others and accept them as they are, with their particular differences and their unique qualities.
6Fill your life with silence and fill your silence with love
We are like batteries: if we don’t recharge daily, we quickly run out of power. Prayer allows us to replenish our supply of peace. The more faithful we are to prayer, the more we are rooted in peace. St. Bernard used to say: “You can only give when you are overfilled: make a reservoir before you become a canal.” To become capable of spreading the peace of Risen Jesus around us, let us begin by welcoming it in without hesitation.”