Happy Sabbath! Peace be with you!
Christ – that crazy rabbi – was all about peace. Hear him preach to the masses: “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you…” But how – one might ask – can such messages possibly be reconciled with that powerful statement worthy of being tattooed across every Irish Catholic’s chest: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
|Which makes Michael angry.|
For the world is inherently unfulfilled. No amount of consumer products, sunny days, or wannabe, spiritual pay-to-pray religions will ever give the world-dweller peace. And what can infuriate the unfulfilled more than someone fully alive, than the fulfilled among them? I’ve been there, living a religion-is-not-cool-and-I-can-be-happy-and-at-peace-without-God kind of life, and the most prominent feature of this life was not laughter and meditation, but being pissed off at fulfilled, happy religious people. Has it ever struck you that the majority of atheistic websites are devoted, not to atheism, but to attacking religion? It is no strong testament to their world view that it is eternally focused on negatives, but it is a strong testament to ours that we can drive enemies to the point of constant anger by doing nothing but living our creed. When we have the peace of Christ, we have a weapon. When we are living in the knowledge that our Lord goes before us and wins our battles, we strike against the world with our very beings, not maliciously, but inherently and necessarily. So the Lord does wish peace upon us, but He knows full well that that very peace will turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
So off we go to mass, to receive the Holy Eucharist, to receive the true peace that annoys the world. We go, and when we come back, if we are a brave, if we are courageous, if we are unashamed of the peace we have within us then we will set the world on fire, we will declare war on the world, we bring a sword to the heart of all those with glazed eyes and feeble hands, and that sword will be called peace, peace without limits. It looks like this: