I find it all too easy to think of peace as something that means all things will go well. When Jesus says, “Peace be with you,” in my mind I shortchange that gift and relegate it to some magical password or secret code for smooth sailing. Yet, I know better.
The peace that Jesus brings is “the peace that the world cannot give” (John 14:27). It is not an enchanted formula that takes away all troubles and difficulties. Saying “Peace be with you” is not the same as saying “Hocus pocus.” Rather it is the blessed assurance that God’s love permeates everything and that God’s presence will always be with us. This peace calms our fears, steadies our minds and stills our hearts. The Peace of God will not disappear at the stroke of midnight!
“The Peace of God transcends all understanding” (Phil 4:7) and transcends all of our circumstances. It is a gift from God. When we are in God’s Peace, according to the late Cardinal Bernardin, we find “the freedom to be most fully who we are, even in the worst of times. We let go of what is nonessential and embrace what is essential. We empty ourselves so that God may more fully work within us. And, we become instruments in the hands of the Lord.”
Lord, help me to hold on to your peace at all times and in every situation. Amen.