dimanche, mars 30, 2008

Sunday in Albis

The mission of Our Lord Jesus Christ is now almost finished. He has paid the price of our Redemption with His own blood and overcome death by His Resurrection. Now comes the time for Him to return to His Father. He has just one thing to do before leaving this world, which is bringing to completion the formation of His Apostles, the men He has chosen to be the pillars of His new Church. A few days ago, He gave them the power to offer His Body and His blood. They might not have understood exactly what the meaning was in the words Jesus used during the last Supper. Their faith still needed to be confirmed, which would be done soon. They still needed to learn about their future mission. They were not yet ready, for they were not even sure if their Master had really risen from the dead as the holy women told them. They remained hidden with the doors shut for fear of the Jews.
Then He comes and tells them: Peace be to you! Peace! This is the sign of the presence of God in a soul or in a place. Those who have been in a Benedictine monastery for a retreat or just for a stay know what it is about. Pax – peace – is the motto of the sons of Saint Benedict and when you are among them, you can really feel it.
But peace, which is one the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit, is not only for the monks. It is given to all souls which accept Jesus Christ within themselves. It is a tranquility and a state of rest which banishes uneasiness and anxiety. It does not remove the hardship of this life but it makes us accept it with serenity. It is not a life without the Cross, but the loving acceptance of the Cross which gives peace.
We worry too often, but it is because of a lack of faith. If we had more faith in God’s providence, if we acknowledged that He is a good Father who takes care of us, we would not worry so much. We would understand that our trials, our concerns and our hardships are finally little things in comparison with the eternal glory that God wants to offer to us. When Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was facing any event in his life, he used to say: Quid hoc ad aeternitatem? What does it matter for eternity?
Nothing or anyone can make us lose our eternity except our own sins. This should be the object of our worries along with the damnation of sinners. Saint Dominic was sometimes seen by his brothers during the night, going to the altar of the convent and crying. One day, a brother asked him: Father, why do you cry like this? Saint Dominic answered: Have you ever thought about where the sinners go for all eternity? The Saint had a great concern for the salvation of souls and was certainly sad because of the damnation of many, but even his sadness did not remove the deep peace he enjoyed.
The Saints are really luminous examples to follow by the simplicity of their lives. They go directly to the essential and that gives them peace.
Christ offers His peace to His Apostles and then He instructs them. How true it is that we must have peace in our souls in order to receive well the teachings of our Master. Worrying impedes us from listening well and from receiving the word of God well. For this reason, the Scripture warns us: If thou wilt have true and everlasting life, keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile; turn away from evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it. (Ps 33) Peace can be obtained by doing good, and once again, by being careful with the sins of the tongue! The sin of detraction is more serious than you would like to believe. Do you usually tell your own sins to others? Why then do you tell the defects of someone else behind his back so easily? Most of the time, such a behavior is motivated by jealousy, resentment or anger and this reveals a lack of peace. Someone who enjoys the true peace of God has absolutely no reason to speak guile. Seek after peace and pursue it!
Let us consider seriously this invitation of the Scripture. Peace is a precious good that certainly everybody would like to have. But to enjoy it depends on us opening our souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ. We have to follow Him from His Passion to His Resurrection. Then we will hear Him tell us: Peace be to you!
In this time of Easter, let us learn again from Our Blessed Mother how to receive the peace of her Son. With her, let us seek for the only thing necessary with confidence. She, who was witness of the Passion of her Son kept peace in her soul, because she knew that it was the work of our Redemption that was completed, and she accepted this in spite of the terrible sufferings she endured.
Regina pacis, ora pro nobis!

3 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Thank you for reminding us of the one thing necessary, the attentiveness to our Lord's great love and merciful nurturing of our souls. Peace to you Father Demets in this beautiful season of Easter!

Anonyme a dit…

Father Demets,

Isn't it proper to say "when He visibly leaves the Earth" since he is still physically here in the Blessed Sacrament?

Anonyme a dit…

Dear Father,
Thank you for the inspiring sermon! May God bless you in all your endeavors!
God bless,