Whenever I hear about a huge lottery jackpot, I wonder what it would be like to win all that money. With millions of dollars, all my wants would be fulfilled, and my troubles would go away, right? Wrong! In reality, it would be more like exchanging one set of desires and anxieties for a new set.
Remember the saying: Be careful of what you wish for; you might just get it. Whatever we obtain in this world, chances are we won’t be completely satisfied. What’s more, there will always be something in our lives to cause us angst.
To find true serenity, we need to look beyond our world. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you,” said Jesus [John 14: 27].
Consider this: When the crucified Christ rose from the dead in His Glory, He still had wounds on his hands and feet from the nails on the cross and from the lance in His side. Even with all the blows He suffered in this world, Jesus was at peace; peace He shared with His disciples. Can we say the same about our lives?
There’s much in our world that constantly threatens to harden our hearts. A hardened heart corrodes the mind and soul. Thankfully, by offering His entire self to us, our Lord offers us peace.
When we attend Mass, we are invited to accept His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity into our being. Unity with Christ, by way of the Holy Eucharist, separates us from sin, keeping us safe from distress. “As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins.” [CCC 1394].
Among the fruits of charity is peace. With peace comes joy and mercy to be shared with one another. Therefore, are we willing to accept this union with Christ and to do our part so that our Lord’s peace stays within us and our world?
I confess I do not always do my part. Sometimes, my faith, hope, and charity fall by the wayside when life gets me down. Envy, jealousy, selfishness, distrust, excessive pride creep into my being. If I cannot handle small challenges, I hate to think of what will happen when bigger difficulties and temptations come my way. So each day I pick myself up with God’s help.
I find comfort in knowing that our Lord won’t abandon me. He won’t abandon any of us. On earth, Jesus met every challenge with faith, hope, and especially love, which foster peace. Then by His passion and death, Christ took on the sins and sufferings of the world. All of this He did for the sake of our healing in body and mind, heart and soul.
Consider this: Healing and peace go hand in hand. When we heal we are at peace, and when we are at peace, we heal. Therefore, let us not falter by giving into corrosive thoughts and temptations. May the greatness of God’s love give us strength so that the peace of our Lord stays within us and in our world always. Amen!