Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

July 3rd – Peace is flowing like a river

Scripture Reflection:

First Reading: Isaiah 66: 10-14                                                                                                                                                                     Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66                                                                                                                                                                                     Second Reading: Galatians 6:14-18                                                                                                                                                                     Gospel: Luke 10: 1 – 20

The Alleluia verse sung before the proclamation of the Gospel caught my attention:

“Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:15, 16).

It led me to ask, “What controls my heart?” and “What is my experience of the peace of Christ?”

Reading further, the Gospel recounts Jesus’ sending out of the 72 disciples.  He sends them out 2 by 2 with nothing but what appears to be the clothes on their back and the foreboding statement, ‘I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” I’m not feeling a lot of peace here!

But Jesus then commands the disciples to bring the gift of peace to each house they enter.

Apparently peace is not about feeling comfortable and cozy, stable and safe.

To back this up, St. Paul in the Second Reading speaks of boasting in the cross and being crucified to the world!!! Yet in this he experiences a new creation and the promise of peace and mercy to all those who follow.

Returning to the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples to proclaim, “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.”

The peace of Christ is exactly that – it is not the peace of the world or the peace of my imagining.  It is a deeper reality that God is with me, with you, in all the circumstances of life; the raging rapids that threaten to turn us upside down, the swirling eddies that just go around and around; the flat waters that barely move; the waterfalls when the bottom falls away; the steady flow when things seem just about right and we can catch our breath and enjoy the scenery along the banks of the river of life, the turns and bends when we cannot see what lies ahead.  The kingdom of God is at hand at all times.  This is the message Jesus lived and proclaimed, the vision of the Prophets, the reality that St. Paul experienced.

River

This past week, the day three of our Sisters returned on a flight from Germany we learned of a terror attack at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey. And only yesterday, another attack in Dhaka, Bangledesh.  There are many events in our world that can be a cause of fear, anxiety, anger . . . We are called to let the peace of Christ control our hearts.  We are called to believe that God is with us and to offer that peace to each person we meet, each household we enter, each gathering in which we participate; to let peace flow out of us like a river.  The kingdom of love and mercy is at hand.

For Your Reflection:

What was your experience of peace this past week?  Allow the memories of the week to surface. Recall experiences of deep peace. What was happening? Did the sense of peace come from external circumstances or did it rise from within?

Perhaps you know the Hymn, Peace is Flowing Like a River

Peace is flowing like a river,
Flowing out through you and me,
Spreading out into the desert,
Setting all the captives free.

Let it flow through me,
Let it flow through me,
Let the mighty peace of God
Flow out through me.
Let it flow through me,
Let it flow through me,
Let the mighty peace of God
Flow out through me

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