Faith Matters: ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you’

  • Holy Name of Jesus Parish on Thayer Street in south Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Fr. Robert Koerber in the Holy Name of Jesus Parish on Thayer Street in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Fr. Robert Koerber in the Holy Name of Jesus Parish on Thayer Street in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Pastor, Holy Name of Jesus Parish of the National Catholic Church
Published: 4/23/2021 10:06:54 AM

(Each Saturday, a faith leader offers a personal perspective in this space. To become part of this series, email religion@recorder.com)

Following the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, we read that the Apostles hid themselves out of fear. They locked the doors and barred the windows. I am sure that they heard every sound, waiting for that one knock that would bring about their own arrest and possible crucifixion by the Romans, as their Lord suffered. But that first evening, following His Resurrection our Lord appeared to them with the greeting, “Peace be with you” His greeting was intended to calm their fears; it was intended to give them confidence and courage in place of the terror and dread they must have felt and with His calming words, it was to transform them from extreme fear to a relaxed calm. It was also His assurance to them that He was indeed was with them again.

Peace. A word associated with tranquility and harmony. When we look outside ourselves, we find little tranquility and harmony in our world, but a lot of chaos, confusion and fear. Peace, I believe, is not found so much outside of ourselves but rather within us, for it is not only a state of mind, but it also becomes a state of one’s being.

Within the five major religions, there are teachings that speak of inner peace:

“By His grace you will find supreme peace, and the state which is beyond all change.” Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 18.61-62

“Just as a deep lake is clear and still, even so, on hearing the teachings and realizing them; the wise become exceedingly peaceful.” Buddhism. Dhammapada 82

“May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Judaism. Numbers 6:26

“Peace I leave you, My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, but as I give unto you.” Christianity. John 14:7

“He it is who sent down peace of reassurance into the hearts of the believers, that they might add faith to their faith.” Islam. Qur’an 48.4

I think of what Jesus said about peace as found in John 16:33, “All these things I have spoken to you, that in Me, you may have peace.” Within that inner peace, there is also a calming presence. I think of Psalm 23, known as the Shepherds’ Psalm; “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me by the still waters, He restores my soul.” When I think of all the turmoil in our world, I recall what the Lord said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

On that first Easter night, when Jesus greeted His Apostles with the words “Peace be with you,” He also gave them a commission as found in John 20:21-22: ‘As the Father has sent Me, so I send you. And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” We learn from reciting the Nicene creed, formulated in 325 AD, that the “Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life.” and Jesus reminds His disciples in John 14:26 that “the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things.”

For many, Easter is a time of rejoicing in life itself and in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, who conquered all obstacles, including death. It is a time where one may come to know of the eternal presence of the living God, who offers peace and eternal life to all through His Resurrection.

It is also a time where followers of the “Good News” of Jesus are called upon with that directive to “go out” and share the eternal truths of Jesus with others, who taught and lived by example, the great spiritual lessons of love, forgiveness, compassion mercy and peace

May this Easter season bring to all peace.

About Holy Name of Jesus Parish

We are a family-oriented church established in 1929 by a community of believers whose legacy of spiritual freedom is still with us after 90 years. We are a non-papal Catholic parish, following the teachings and principles of the early “undivided” Church, with a Liturgical worship style. Follow us on Facebook, or our website: holynamedeerfield.org. Our Sunday services are celebrated at 9 a.m. and everyone is welcomed. For more information, please call 413-665-2129.


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