“Peace be with you!”
Acclamation to the Gospel
Alleluia, alleluia. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
From the Gospel of John (Jn 20:19-23)
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Jesus makes himself present in the community: The closed doors do not allow him to stay among them. Even today, the scene is the same: when we are gathered, Jesus is in our midst, even if all the doors are locked! And today again the first word of Jesus is always: Peace be with you!” He shows the marks of his passion on his hands and side. The risen one is the crucified one! The Jesus who is with us in the community, is not a glorious Christ who has nothing in common with human life, but is the same Jesus of Nazareth who came to this earth and bears the marks of his passion. These same marks are present in the suffering of the people stricken by hunger, wars, infirmities, violence and injustice. Even in the people who react and fight for life and peace Jesus makes himself present among us. From this crucified and risen Jesus we receive the mission, the same entrusted to him by the Father. In addition, to us he repeats: “Peace be with you!” Because building Peace is part of our mission, it means to build a human harmonious environment, where people can live in tranquility. In one word, it means to build a community in communion with the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, whose help is essential to carry out the mission entrusted to us. The central point of this mission of peace is found in reconciliation, in an attempt to overcome the barriers that separate us: ” Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” This power is conveyed to the disciples: Jesus communicates to them the gift of the Spirit so that they can forgive sins and reconcile people with each other and with God. A community without forgiveness and reconciliation is not a Christian community. This is a mission that lasts until today, because what is most lacking in the world is peace, to heal human relations, to comfort the lives of those who are wounded by injustices.
With nazarene eyes
“Grant us peace, O Lord, in these days, because no one else can help us beside thee, O Lord our God!
- May peace come to your house.
- And abundance to your home.
– O God, from whom all good desire, right advice and works of justice come, give us your servants that peace which the world cannot give, so that our hearts are totally available to your commands, our fear of enemies vanishes and our days elapse in peace under your protection. Amen.
…. “You will receive a hundredfold in this life and heaven in the other”. Is there a reward that can compete with this? Certainly not. Let us work every day to deserve it. The hundredfold of which our Savior speaks consists of inner consolations, graces and special blessings, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, virtue, peace of the soul, serenity of heart and a right conscience: these are, according to faith, our real treasures. (Fr. Gabriele Taborin, Circular n. 4 – 15 August 1848)
In the first reproduction of the official painting of the Institute, we can read this motto written in Latin: IN ORATIONE, LABORE ET CHARITATE * PAX. In the Bible peace is at the same time the most profound longing of the human being and the greatest gift we can receive from God. To provide peace is to restore things according to their original state and at the same time bring them to their fulfilment. Peace is the best expression of happiness and prosperity in our daily life, defines the condition of the person who lives in harmony with himself, with others, with nature and with God. Peace is the set of all goods. It is certain that there is a battle to fight to attain peace, as well as to achieve justice; and in the Gospel one of the beatitudes is for the “creators of peace” in human relations; peace is a Paschal gift (Jn20,19), “fruit” of the Spirit (Gal5, 22) and pledge of eternal life (Rm8, 6). “Christ is our peace” (Eph2,14). (Handbook of spirituality – Peace 5.4.1)
Let us pray
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth. (Ps.104)
“The earth is full of your creatures”. We are full of wonder for everything God created. What fills us with joy is to see that the Word, who was next to the Father in creation, now contemplates his work with human eyes, eyes deeply surprised by the action of God, immersed in creation ordered by him. The psalm then invites us to rejoice and to contemplate with “Nazarenes eyes” his eyes and those of Mary and Joseph. “With Nazarene eyes” means to experience the joyful contemplation suggested by this hymn, giving unceasing praise to God. A praise that expresses the joy of our love. (Bro. Lino Da Campo)
The Holy Spirit wraps us in his love and make us part of the Church, body of Christ, which acts in the world. Let us ask the Father to send on us the gift of his Spirit, so that, bound in his mystery of love, we can be renewed inside and become workers of peace according to his will.
Sequence — Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.