From our Pastor: November 4, 2017

“In You, Lord, I have found my peace,” we proclaim this Sunday in Psalm 131. God
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the source of all true and everlasting peace, of all
grace, faith, hope and love. If we look anywhere else for absolute and eternal stability
in our lives, we will be disappointed. Only God’s peace, which comes from knowing
that we are children of God, can give us the inner strength we need to be faithful to
our life-mission, no matter how difficult it might get.

In the Gospel, Jesus Christ tells us that the scribes and Pharisees had become so
prideful and selfish that they could not receive God’s peace and grace – that they acted
as if God did not exist, as if God was not their Father, as if their talents came from
themselves (Matthew 23:1-12). They stopped practicing the two Great Commandments
– love of God and love of neighbor. Jesus reminds the people that humility is the key
to receiving His peace. Malachi tells people to have the humility to follow God’s ways,
not their own ways (Malachi 1:14 – 2:2, 8-10). Indeed, humility is foundational to the
spiritual life. With humility, Saint Paul reminded the Thessalonians that they did not
receive his word, but the Gospel of God (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9). Saint Paul knew that
he was an instrument, not the source, of God’s peace, grace, light, faith, hope and love.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all called to realize that our true and everlasting
peace and joy comes from God – it takes humility to realize that all we have that is
good comes from God: life, faith, hope, love, family, friends, talents, peace and joy.
When we realize this, we experience a spiritual stability in our lives, an interior peace
that nothing can disturb, just like that peace described in Psalm 131: “In You Lord, I
have found my peace,” a peace the world cannot give and the world cannot take away.

How do we find God’s peace? In the midst of challenges, temptations and hardships
that we all face, in the busy-ness of our lives, whether single, married, priest, religious,
widow or widower, we can cultivate God’s peace and answer His call to holiness by
consciously doing the following: (1) Be humble. Put God first in our life. Joy, Jesus-others-yourself;  (2) Pray. (3) Keep the Commandments, particularly the two Great
Commandments, love of God and love of neighbor. (4) Stay close to God in His
Sacraments. We do all this at once in a most excellent way by giving a bigger place in
our lives for the Holy Eucharist. In every Mass, at the words of consecration spoken
by the priest, Christ Himself, the source of all true peace, makes Himself truly present
under the appearance of bread and wine. In Holy Communion, Jesus nourishes our
life with His real, true and substantial presence, forgiving our sins, healing our spiritual
wounds, and strengthening our good desires and intentions. Jesus is at Mass and in the
Tabernacle. He waits patiently, humbly, quietly, thinking of us all the time, ready to give
us His grace and His peace, assuring us that He is with us always (Matthew 28:20).

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William