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Easter – Sunday 6

Let me share with you some images I experienced last week:

…A woman sitting by Manila Bay looking far out at the sea, looking pensive and troubled, alone and sad: I’m sure she was afraid to return home alone that night with that big problem in her heart.

…An old parishioner suffering in the ICU of a hospital due to old age and lingering sickness: I can only imagine the fear she has of all the medical procedures she has to undergo painfully each day.

…Our parish office found forcibly opened in the morning and the contents of drawers and cabinets ransacked in search of cash: how can you tell me to sleep contentedly when even the church is not spared from intrusions like these?

There is one thing that woman by the bay, that sick person in the hospital and you and I desperately seek for – peace. And everybody knows it is not easy to find peace if you have problems, sickness or threats to security.

Today, the Lord comes in the midst of our anxieties, confusions and fears. He holds out his hands as he did before to his disciples. Listen to what he says: Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.

The Lord knows we want peace. It cannot come through human solutions. It cannot come through excellent medical service. It cannot come through security measures. The peace every heart longs for can only come from God.

How can we have this peace? Jesus says, this happens when we love him and keep his word. Then the Father and the Son dwell in our hearts and the Holy Spirit also enters our lives. Peace, as Jesus gives it, happens when God victoriously reigns in our hearts.

Is it possible to enjoy this experience of peace? For every Christian, this chance is offered. We are already living very close to God and he is already part of our lives. To have this peace, we need only to preserve and intensify our relationship with the Lord in prayer, in his word, in the Eucharist, in his Church.

Dear friends, I am sure that as we come to the Eucharist today, many of us are begging God for the gift of peace. We want to sleep well tonight, to be able to smile again, to have courage to live again. It is a good start. We recognize that we cannot manufacture lasting peace. God bestows it on humble hearts.

When at Mass we hear: The peace of the Lord be with you, claim that peace and let it cover your whole being. Jesus wants you to have peace. Then greet the next person with the same peace you receive from the Lord. Jesus wants you to share this peace so it will remain and it will grow in the world.