Peace Be With You

Sunday of Divine Mercy
Lectionary 43

Three times Christ said to his disciples, “Peace be with you.” Yet, peace seemed so elusive. Despite having seen Christ’s miracles, despite now being witnesses to his resurrection, the disciples were not at peace. We might want to attribute that lack of peace to simple fear, fear of the significant change that is happening in their lives, fear of what Jesus was calling them to. Or perhaps they lacked peace because they had abandoned Jesus and now did not believe strongly enough. But I don’t think any of those reasons are correct. I believe the disciples lack peace because they abandoned their mission; they had ceased to be who they were always meant to be.
God creates each one of us with a plan in mind. We each have a particular role, a unique and essential place in the Kingdom of God. That is, in the very fabric of who we are is a mission, a mission that satisfies our deepest desires because it is the fullest possible expression of our created nature. To be at peace, to know happiness, is to discover that mission and live it out. We are only at peace when we are confident we are on the right track when we are fully expressing our inner selves and moving towards our given destiny.
That is why Christ had to say to the disciples three times, “Peace be with you.” They had abandoned not only Christ himself, but their mission to spread the good news. Because they had given up on their mission, because the disciples had given up on what they were created to be, they had, in a sense, abandoned themselves, and were now listlessly floating in a sea of uncertainty.
So Christ not only says to them, “Peace be with you,” but three times he reminds them of their mission, he tells them of where they will find that peace. The first time he shows them his wounds, the next time he says, “As the father has sent me, so I send you,” and finally, he says, “See my hands and believe.” He calls them back to the fulfillment of their lives, to embrace the people God created them to be.
The same is true for all of us. We all have a mission. We all have a unique place in this world and in the Kingdom created just for us. And we will only be happy, we will only know true peace, the peace that Christ offers, when we find it and when we are moving towards it. So in those moments in which we find ourselves, like the disciples, floating aimlessly. Let us not be afraid of drowning in that ocean of uncertainty and doubt. Instead, let us turn to Christ, let us turn to the one who created us, and we will hear him say, “Peace be with you,” and he will show us the way to happiness, the way to everlasting peace.