Peace be with you.
I’ve noticed a few people over the years who sign off their emails or greeting cards with “Peace be with you.” And I used to think, well that’s a nice Catholic greeting, thinking they got the idea from the Sign of Peace during Mass, where we turn to each other and say “Peace be with you.”
But only recently have I realized the profoundly Easter nature of this greeting. In today’s Gospel, Jesus says this no less than three times. It is, in a sense, a greeting from the Resurrection. There were certainly other things that Jesus’ disciples could have expected Him to say – and perhaps He might have said something to them about how they had behaved during His Passion, for the most part abandoning Him.
But He did not. He simply said: “Peace be with you.” And this is perhaps the fruit of the Resurrection, which we hope as Christians – but certainly as people who seek to share in Resurrectionist Spirituality – to experience in our own lives. That we too, after our experiences of suffering, abandonment, and even experiences of death in our lives, can experience God’s love transforming us and bringing us to a place of truly new life that we can actually greet one another with those same words: “Peace be with you.”
One of the signs that people often say will accompany the discovery of one’s vocation is a sense of peace. But it is much more than a mere psychological sense of relief. It is the kind of peace that Jesus Himself experienced after all that happened on Good Friday, which He has called the Congregation of the Resurrection to help others also experience.