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
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
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
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
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.