reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Pope at Regina Coeli: Ask the Lord for the Spirit of peace
Pope Francis encourages us to strive for meekness and harmony in our lives, while we should pray every day, “Lord, give me your peace, give me your Holy Spirit”.
By Thaddeus Jones
Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis recalled the Gospel in today's liturgy when Jesus bid farewell to his disciples at the Last Supper, saying “Peace I leave with you,” and immediately adding “My peace I give to you.”
"Peace I leave with you"
These words express Jesus' affection and serenity, despite the moment being anything but serene, since Judas left to betray him, Peter is about to deny him and almost others will abandon him, the Pope observed, yet the Lord remains calm and kind to the end.
These last hours of Jesus' life sum up the essence of his entire life, the Pope explained, and while he feels fear and pain, he does not give way to bitterness or anger; "He is at peace, a peace that comes from his meek heart accustomed to trust." You cannot leave others peace if you do not have peace within yourself, the Pope added.
“Jesus demonstrates that meekness is possible. He incarnated it specifically in the most difficult moment, and he wants us to behave that way too, since we are heirs of his peace.”
Jesus calls on us to be meek, open and available to listen to others, to defuse tensions and build harmony, the Pope said. And it is our behaviour that counts most, worth more than many words or sermons. As disciples of Jesus, the Pope asked, do we try to ease tensions, defuse conflicts, and react to situations without anger but with kindness? These are all big challenges for us, he acknowledged.
"My peace I give you"
Jesus’ second phrase can help us in our own struggles to be peacemakers, the Pope said. Peace "is first of all a gift of God," the Pope said recalling how Jesus said: “My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” This peace that the world does not know that the Lord gives us is the Holy Spirit, the Pope explained, the same Spirit of Jesus.
The presence of God in us, is God's "power of peace," that "disarms the heart and fills it with serenity." The peace the Lord gives us reminds us that we are brothers and sisters - not adversaries - the Pope added, and it is the Lord who helps us forgive and start anew so we can become men and women of peace.
Ask for the gift of peace
We must continually ask for the gift of peace from the Holy Spirit, the Pope explained, especially when our hearts are upset, impatient or angry, "the more we need to ask the Lord for the Spirit of peace."
“Let us learn to say every day: “Lord, give me your peace, give me your Holy Spirit”. And let us also ask this for those who live next to us, for those we meet each day, and for the leaders of nations. May Our Lady help us welcome the Holy Spirit so we can be peacemakers.”