All Are Welcome. Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present religious affilialtion, whatever your personal history, age, background, race or color, whatever your self-esteem, you are invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected at the Church of St. Theresa.
My dear brothers and sisters,
So often today we hear that we should pray for peace. We greet one another at mass with a sign of peace. We as Roman Catholic are called to be a People of Peace. But what is this peace?
We read in the Gospel of John, “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.”
The peace which Jesus bestowed upon the Apostles and the Disciples is the positive understanding of God’s presence within them. Jesus was not saying “I hope nothing bad happens to you or you don't get into any trouble". When Jesus bestows his peace upon them, he is acknowledging the loving presence of God within each of them.
If we understand the peace of Christ is the remarkable presence of God within each of us, then even in the midst of great trials in our lives we still have Christ’s peace. The presence of God in our Lord is the same deep, rich peace that stilled his heart in the midst of mockers, haters, murderers, traitors, and everything else he faced. Those who knew him might have come to expect it, but you can imagine how it must have confounded his enemies and those who didn't know him to see someone that calm.
This is the peace which Jesus has given to each of us through his Holy Spirit at our Baptism. The Peace of Christ allows us to reconcile with God restoring our right relationship with God when we have been alienated from Him by our sin. The peace of Christ also gives us the ability to reconcile with one another.
My brothers and sisters, if you have a problem, or a decision to make, let the peace of Christ make that decision for you. If we examine a planned action in the light of God's loving peace within each of us and his peace does not forbid you from going ahead with it--if you can do it and retain the peace of Christ in your heart, then do it with the confidence it is God's will. But if you find you do not have a sense of peace and God's blessing about it, don't do it.
Let us strive in this very troubled world to recognize Christ’s Peace in ourselves. Then let us find his peace in those around us and finally let us bring that same powerful peace into our daily lives. The Peace of Christ cannot be defeated. All we have to do is accept his loving peace completely into our lives.
Yours in Christ,