Jesus Brings Peace and Joy into our Lives

Jesus Brings Peace and Joy into our Lives

Author: Carol Gachiengo   20 Dec 2021


Transcribed talk by Fr Jose Palliyil VC

A talk based on the Gospel of Luke 24:35-48

My dear brothers and sisters,

Through this Gospel reading, Jesus tells you that He is coming to you to bring His peace into your life.  We know from the book of Acts of the Apostles, that after the death of Jesus, His disciples were scattered. The Gospels also tell us that His disciples were frightened because they had lost their leader, captain and guide, and they did not know what to do. For three years they had been great people led by a great master, but suddenly after Jesus was crucified, everything had changed, and all their hope was lost. They were in darkness, emptiness and pain. So, when they heard the message of Resurrection it was really a surprise. They could not believe it! This was something beyond their imagination and understanding, yet they could see with their own eyes that Jesus Christ had resurrected.

This is not just the story of Jesus’ apostles in the early church; this is the story of you and me. Very often, looking at our own day-to-day life and our own difficulties, we are not able to believe that Jesus is with us, despite all the difficulties and pain. Sometimes we fail to understand the divine plan of God behind the darkness and clouds. Just as Jesus gave power to His disciples when He appeared to them, the Resurrection fills us with the power to believe that Christ lives with us. He is with us in our difficulties and pain. We are not alone. 

And if Christ has not been raised then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain (1 Cor. 15:14)

Every day when we come together to praise and worship the Lord, we proclaim that Jesus Christ is risen and lives in our midst. If Jesus was not resurrected, there would be no proclamation, no faith, and our lives would have no meaning. So, the Resurrection gives us, not only joy, but also great hope.

Resurrected Jesus the Centre of Christian Life

Have you ever thought what our lives would be like if there was no Resurrection? It would be absolute darkness. Some years ago, a film was released that shows us what life would be like if there was no Resurrection. It tells the fictional story of a man who claimed to have found the tomb of Jesus Christ, and in that tomb, a very big skeleton. He told everyone that he had seen the tomb of Jesus, as well as the skeleton of Jesus in the tomb, which would mean that Jesus was not resurrected; that he had died, been buried in the tomb, and was still there. The story continues to unfold, showing what happened to the people of God in that film when they heard this news, which spread very fast. At first, they could not believe it, but eventually they accepted it as truth. They were engulfed by sadness and a gloomy mood.

As a result, missionaries who had gone to different parts of the world all returned to their own homes. The church bells which had previously been ringing every day went silent. The Eucharistic celebration and all other liturgical services that were part and parcel of many people’s lives stopped.  Churches and monasteries were closed. Christian families stopped praying.  People were sick and depressed and there was no one to rely on; no one to trust, because there was no Resurrection, no Jesus.

Then the film took a different turn. The man who had claimed to have seen the tomb and skeleton of Jesus confessed that he had lied. This news restored life and joy to the people. Churches and monasteries were active once more. Missionaries were sent out on mission to declare the Good News, and the sick and depressed who had been in dark despair had their flame of hope rekindled.

The lesson from the film: If there is no Resurrected Jesus, where can you and I go in our struggles, difficulties and pain? In the dark moments of our day-to-day life, where can we go? It is a reminder that Resurrected Jesus is the centre of Christian life. Wherever the Resurrected Jesus comes, He always comes with the great news of hope and of peace. He comes and tells people, “peace be with you.”

Jesus is much greater than our problems

‘Peace be with you.’ These are not simple words. The word ‘peace’ means a lot. That is why each day, when we start the Eucharistic celebration, we start with the peace giving. When we exchange peace, we say “peace be with you.” Let us extend the peace of Christ because this extension of peace is from the Resurrected Jesus. Christ is always filling our lives with His peace and joy. When we celebrate the great mystery of the Eucharist, we are celebrating hope, joy, and the great mystery of Christ.

In life, we go through a lot of difficulties and pain. There is no life in this world without pain, and no one experiences a life of only joy; life is a mixture of both joyful and sorrowful experiences. But Christ gives hope for our difficult moments, as He did for His disciples after His Resurrection. As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (Luke 24:36)

But sometimes we forget to recognize the presence of Jesus who is walking with us. How many of us believe that Jesus can really bring peace and joy to our lives? We may not believe it because we are looking at our problems, and we feel that they are great problems with no solution. But our Master Jesus Christ is much greater than these problems. He brings joy to our lives when we understand that the real truth is God Himself. We are liberated when we understand this. We need the grace to look at our own difficulties and problems from the perspective of Jesus. That will give us hope for our daily life.

You may have been praying for long time—20 years, 25 years, or even 30 years for a loved one, yet nothing seems to change and this can make you feel desperate. 

Understanding the ‘soul of your life’

Celebration of the liturgy helps us to look at realities of life from a different perspective. Sometimes people wonder whether it is necessary to keep praying, celebrating the Eucharist and receiving the sacraments. Fr. Jose gives the example of a man who had been attending the Divine Ministries daily prayer service and Eucharistic adoration for three years. He testified that although the circumstances of his family and work life had not changed, he found that he had more enthusiasm. “It helps me to understand the soul of my life,” he said.

In our day-to-day life, we often lose the soul of life—the warmth of life. We may live for many years with no warmth, no enthusiasm; like a machine, operating without  interest in the things we are doing. But when we are moving with Jesus Christ, we get to experience a little more soul, a little more joy, a little more understanding in all the things we are doing. Our life situations may remain the same, but now we get to look at things from a different perspective.

That is what happened in the lives of Jesus’ disciples. They were not theologians; they were ordinary people like you and me, but when they experienced the power of Jesus, they had such a great warmth that they went to different parts of the world to preach the Word of God and share this love with everyone. And wherever they went and preached, there were great miracles in the name of Jesus. While you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30).

There is power in the name of Jesus. There is joy in the name of Jesus. There is peace in the name of Jesus. There is hope in the name of Jesus. And in the Gospel reading, Jesus is telling us, Peace be with you. I am with you in all the circumstances of your life. You need not be afraid.

During these times of the COVID pandemic when many people have been sick or lost their jobs, people have lost their hope. But Jesus is telling us that there is hope in Him, which helps us to do things with more soul, more enthusiasm, more spirit, and more vigour.

Experiencing the love of God in our day-to-day life can help us to do even the smallest things with more soul, more vigour and enthusiasm. Let those mothers who cook every day do it with more love and joy. Let all those who are working do their work with more soul, with more enthusiasm and joy. Let this life be a joyful experience for all of us, in spite of all the difficulties and problems. Do not postpone enjoying this life to after solving all your problems, for you might not get a single problem-free day to celebrate in this world. As human beings, with our limitations and weaknesses, and with our strengths, let us look at Jesus, learn from Him, follow in His footsteps and let Him be our inspiration and our enthusiasm.

God bless all of us. Amen.

 

 


 

Saints

 

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