“Peace is the fruit of justice. Only when the injustice of sin against God had been requited could there be an affirmation of true peace. Peace is the tranquility of order, not tranquility alone; for robbers can be tranquil in the possession of their spoils. Peace also implies order, the subordination of the body to the soul, of the senses to reason, and of the creature to the Creator. Isaiah said there was no peace to the wicked because they are at enmity (odds) with themselves, with one another, and with God.” (Fulton Sheen)
On the Cross, the Lord atoned for the sins of the world, your sins, and mine. The peace Jesus speaks of is not the absence of war or conflict, or simply the easement of physical suffering, but peace with God His Father through the forgiveness of sins. Without this peace, no other peace is possible, because sin destroys peace.
Then the Lord showed His wounded hands and side:
“It was thus He would be recognized as One Crucified though now in glory, Prince and Lord. It was not that the cruel wounds were to be a reminder of the cruelty of men, but rather that by pain and sorrow, Redemption had been wrought. If the scars had been removed, men might have forgotten that there was a sacrifice, and that He was both Priest and Victim. His argument was that the Body that he showed them was the same that was born of the Virgin Mary, nailed to the Cross and laid in a grave by Joseph or Arimathea...
These nail prints, this pierced side, these were the unmistakable scars of battle against sin and evil. As many a soldier looks upon the wounds he received in battle not as a disfigurement, but as a trophy of honor, so He wore His wounds to prove that love was stronger than death” (Fulton Sheen).
The Apostles rejoiced! The Lord’s mission all along was to give them, and to give us, PEACE, a peace the world cannot give and a peace it cannot take away. The only way it will ever leave us is if we give it away.
We must repent of sin, and realize there is no sin greater than God’s mercy. This time of epidemic is a time of suffering, but it can also be a time of repentance, coming to peace with God, with others, and with ourselves. This is what the feast of Divine Mercy celebrates.
Even as we’re separated by walls, doors, and social distancing from the church, family, and friends during this epidemic, there is no locked door that can keep Jesus Christ from coming to you, only the door of your heart.
God is so merciful that he would grant peace to a repentant doubter and sinner. Encountering His peace and mercy, how can we not cry out as Thomas in the Gospel, “My Lord and my God!”?
Happy Easter, God bless you all, Father Robert Letona