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Browsing Reflections Archive

May 12, 2020

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to read today’s scripture passages at this link: 

If you prefer to use your own bible, the readings are:
First Reading:  Acts 14:19-28
Responsorial:  Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21
Gospel:  John 14:27-31a

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)

Peace is a word that is easy to gloss over.  At Mass, I say “Peace be with you” to people.  But what is the substance behind those words?  Is the phrase so automatic that it’s lost a personal meaning?  How do I truly give “peace” to the person I’m addressing?

Experience tells me love gives peace.  Without love, there is little peace.  Margot and I feel peace when we share a hug or when we show our love for each other so clearly that it touches our hearts.  I felt peace when my mother-in-law was alive and told me she was so happy that I had married her daughter.  I feel peace when I recall our three goddaughters – Carolyn, Nicole, and Elizabeth – and how much love is shown when we’re together.  I feel peace when a relative calls just to visit and to see how I’m doing.  I feel peace in the presence of loving and caring friends.

Experience also tells me that peace frees me up to love others with more intensity.  Anxiety makes it hard to feel and show love.  Anxiety can make me less open to being empathetic with the needs of other people.  Anxiety inhibits love – and relationships suffer.  Peace frees me up to love.

I recall a Sunday when we arrived early for Mass.  There was time for warm hugs and a dialogue with an old friend who had been out of town for a while.  We also responded very warmly to a family of four arriving at the last minute.  They were visitors and they really appreciated us helping them relax and feel welcome.  The smiles, hugs, even nods in acknowledgment across the church brings a feeling of unity to us as members of the same congregation within the Body of Christ.  Simply arriving for Mass a bit early freed us to be more sensitive to the needs of our fellow worshipers . . . and to help all of us sense the peace, and love, from being at Mass together.

Peace begat love – love begat peace – and on and on and on.

At this time of pandemic, feelings of deprivation and loneliness abound, especially while we wait to return to celebrating Masses together.  Meanwhile, I can remember that there are many ways and opportunities to engender a sense of peace and unity with others. By phone, by letter, and through computers, a wave to a neighbor walking by, it only takes a moment to encourage others and give ourselves a lift.  Mass isn’t the only time to wish peace for each other. 

“Peace be with you, my friend.”

Bill Bradbury


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