The Second Sunday of Easter ~ Peace Be with You!

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER ~ April 23, 2017

 (Divine Mercy Sunday)

When Jesus appeared to the apostles after the resurrection, he would greet them with the words, “Peace be with you.”

They were very distressed and fearful, huddled together in the Upper Room behind locked doors. They were very sad and distraught that the One they had come to love had been murdered. They were afraid that the religious leaders would crucify them as well. William Barclay, the Scripture scholar says that “they met in something like terror. They knew the envenomed bitterness of the Jewish leaders who had plotted his execution and feared they would be next.

They very much needed some peace.  So the first thing Jesus says when he appears to them is “Peace be with you.”

Thus, peace is an Easter gift. It’s a gift that we can claim and pray for.

I’m not talking about peace between Israelis and Palestinians or Republicans and Democrats.

We usually think coming to peace with others. But we have to seek peace within ourselves first.

The question is: How do we come to peace within ourselves? If our mind is racing, if we cannot sit still for a few minutes, then we’re not at peace.   Something may be askew in our environment that is causing us to be unsettled and anxious. Something in our life may be causing us to not enjoy our own company.

But the real problem for many is that we may not LIKE ourselves! We may choose to avoid our own company by watching TV or drinking or going out to a bar or a club to avoid being alone.

Yes, peace is a gift that every one of us needs. Peace within ourselves.

Being able to be calm and peaceful is a good indicator of our soul’s health. We should be at peace. And if we’re not, then we have our agenda laid out for us ~ to find out what is causing the lack of peace.   Usually lack of peace is caused by something going on the spiritual level.   We learn to deal with our lack of peace by making deliberate efforts to be alone and to enjoy our own company.

Today’s gospel teaches us that peace is a gift of the risen Lord. We ought to pray for that gift.

We can value it, beginning today on this second Sunday of Easter. And then we can be assured that it will come to us sooner or later.

I have known both peace and anxiety; I have known a terrible fear that would give me no peace, even though I desperately sought it.

1) In 1982, I was hospitalized and the medication they on made me want to crawl out of my skin. I couldn’t settle my limbs for more than a couple of seconds. But then, finally, something happened inside my soul — a religious experience I had in a dream — that calmed me as if a terrible storm had abated. From that moment on, I knew what peace is like.

The experience of peace is soul-embracing. You feel free, you feel content and settled. You feel connected with your loved ones, your environment, with God, indeed with the whole universe.

And you feel worthwhile. You feel that your own connectedness helps form the connection with others, with the whole world.

2).  Two of my friends had a horrible rift that I felt I was asked to try to reconcile . I chose to make a small effort at bringing the two together, but saw that was impossible without heavy sessions between them. My peace had been unsettled by their lack of peace. So, we see that not practicing peacefulness has a ripple effect. More and more people get caught up in the unrest, the lack of peace.

them too. Peter had not yet emerged as their leader, so they were floundering and confused. They were without hope.

That is why it is so important to be at peace.

3.) I now seek an abiding peace, a peace that stays with me. And I take steps to deepen and enrich my feeling of peacefulness.

In my remaining years, I have been given the tools to really enjoy my peace of mind and peace of soul. I can sit for a time at night in the dark, in silence, just simply “being.” In these hours, I realize that I am valuable, even though I am “doing nothing.” I just “be.”

Whenever I used to at preach at funerals, I often asked the question — Would you be content to feel the way you feel at this moment for all eternity? Would you be at peace if God called you to himself in the next moment?

I could sometimes  answer my own question and answer: Yes, I would be content to feel as I feel at the present moment for all eternity.

4.) The Apostles were very disturbed after the crucifixion. Their life with Jesus ~ their hopes and dreams for the future ~ seemed to be totally shattered. They were afraid that the leaders would come for them and crucify them as well.

These issues were so strong in them that they could not bring themselves to believe the message that the Women brought them that Jesus had been raised. They were not at peace.

. . . . Until Jesus appeared to them. They no longer had to rely on faith, which was lacking for all of them, not just Thomas. They had to experience the Risen One for themselves.

Then enter Thomas. He is not at peace. He says that unless he puts his finger in the nail-marks and his hand into his side, he will not believe.”

Thomas is honest.

Thomas needed to be convinced. He absolutely refused to say that he understood what he did not understand or to say he believed what he did not believe. There was an uncompromising honesty about him, says our scripture scholar friend William Barclay.

But when he was sure, he went all the way, My Lord and My God,” he proclaimed!

And Jesus responded by saying, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Many more of us doubt significant things in our life. Specifically, we doubt our own self-worth.

We doubt matters of faith. We take our faith far more seriously by questioning and pursuing our questions than by relegating our faith to some closet in our mind. Some of us have had their faith shaken some personal crisis or a scandal in the church.  Pursue your questions, though they may be painful. The questions can lead to a deeper faith. The turmoil, the risk of the Quest is better than stagnation.

Life for me today makes sense. I am at peace.   I consider myself a Witness to the Resurrection. I KNOW Jesus lives. He is not just a historical figure who lived in the past. He lives and reigns in the universe today. I KNOW his love for me in the present moment.

I praise and thank God and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord for the gift of his peace

One final thought: We cannot share peace if we do not have peace. If we want there to be peace in our homes, and our world, we have to have peace within ourselves. Then we can share it.

THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU!

And now before you go, a couple of things, first, today is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. 

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. It is originally based on the Devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church. The image above is the lovely image of Jesus associated with this devotion.

And now, here is a powerful song to pull all of this together ~ , Click here.

And, finally here are the Mass readings for today. Click here.

With love,

Bob Traupman

Contemplative Writer

 

 

 

 

 

Peace be with You!

imagesSECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER

 (Divine Mercy Sunday)

When Jesus appeared to the apostles after the resurrection, he would greet them with the words,“Peace be with you.”

They were distressed and fearful, huddled together in the Upper Room behind locked doors.

They were  sad and distraught that the One they had come to love had been murdered. They were afraid that the religious leaders would crucify them as well.

They very much needed some peace.  So the first thing Jesus says when he appears to them is “Peace be with you.”

Thus, peace is an Easter gift. It’s a gift that we can claim and pray for.

I’m not talking about peace between Israelis and Palestinians or Republicans and Democrats.

We usually think about coming to peace with others. But we have to seek peace within ourselves first.

The question is: How do we come to peace within ourselves? If our mind is racing, if we cannot sit still for a few minutes, then we’re not at peace.   Something may be askew in our environment that is causing us to be unsettled and anxious. Something in our life may be causing us to not enjoy our own company.

But the real problem for many is that we may not like ourselves. We may choose to avoid our own company by watching TV, listening to music or going out to a bar or a club or drink or pop some pills to avoid being alone.

Yes, peace is a gift that every one of us needs. Peace within ourselves.

Being able to be calm and peaceful is a good indicator of our soul’s health. We should be at peace. And if we’re not, then we have our agenda laid out for us ~ to find out what is causing the lack of peace.   Usually lack of peace is caused by something going on in us on the spiritual level.   We learn to deal with our lack of peace by making deliberate efforts to be alone and to enjoy our own company.

Remember, that peace is a gift of the risen Lord. We can and ought to pray for that gift.

We can value it, beginning today on this second Sunday of Easter. And then we can be assured that it will come to us sooner or later.

I have known both peace and anxiety; I have known a terrible fear that would give me no peace, even though I desperately sought it.

1) In 1982, I was hospitalized and the medication I was on made me want to crawl out of my skin. I couldn’t settle my limbs for more than a couple of seconds. But then, finally, something happened inside my soul — a religious experience.  I had in a dream — that calmed me as if a terrible storm had abated. From that moment on, I knew what peace is like.

In such an experience, the peace is soul-embracing. You feel free, you feel content and settled. You feel connected with your loved ones, your environment, with God, indeed with the whole universe.

And you feel worthwhile. You feel that your own connectedness helps form the connection with others, with the whole world.

2).  Two of my friends had a horrible rift that I felt I was asked to try to reconcile . I chose to make a small effort at bringing the two together, but saw that it was impossible without heavy sessions between them. My peace had been unsettled by their lack of peace. So, we see that not practicing peacefulness has a ripple effect. More and more people get caught up in the unrest, the lack of peace.

And so it was with the Apostles locked in the Upper Room, too. Peter had not yet emerged as their leader, so they were floundering and confused. They were without hope.

That is why it is so important to be at peace.

3.) I now seek an abiding peace, a peace that stays with me. And I take steps to deepen and enrich my feeling of peacefulness.

I’ve been given the tools to enjoy my peace of mind and peace of soul. I can sit for a time at night in the dark, in silence, just simply “being.” In these hours, I realize that I am valuable, even though I am “doing nothing.” I just “be.”

Whenever I used to at preach at funerals, I often ask the question — Would you be content to feel the way you feel at this moment for all eternity? Would you be at peace if God called you to himself in the next moment?

I could sometimes  answer my own question and answer: Yes, I would be content to feel as I feel at the present moment for all eternity.

4.) The Apostles were disturbed after the crucifixion. Their life with Jesus ~ their hopes and dreams for the future ~ seemed to be shattered. They were afraid that the leaders would come for them and crucify them as well.

These issues were so strong in them that they could not bring themselves to believe the message that the Women brought them that Jesus had been raised. They were not at peace.

. . . . Until Jesus appeared to them. They no longer had to rely on faith, which was lacking for all of them. They experienced the Risen One for themselves.

Then enter Thomas. He is not at peace. He says that “unless he puts his finger in the nail-marks and his hand into his side, he will not believe.”

Thomas is honest.

Thomas needed to be convinced. He refused to say that he understood what he did not understand or to say he believed what he did not believe. There was an uncompromising honesty about him, says our scripture scholar friend William Barclay.

But when he was sure, he went all the way, My Lord and My God,” he proclaimed!

And Jesus responded by saying, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Many more of us doubt significant things in our life. Specifically, we doubt our own self-worth.

We doubt matters of faith. We take our faith far more seriously by questioning and pursuing our questions than by relegating our faith to some closet in our mind. Some of us have had their faith shaken by a personal crisis or a scandal in the church.

Pursue your questions, though they may be painful. The questions can lead to a deeper faith. The turmoil, the risk of the Quest is better than stagnation.

Life for me today makes sense. I am at peace.   I consider myself a Witness to the Resurrection. I know Jesus lives. He is not just a historical figure who lived in the past. He lives and reigns in the universe today. I know his love for me in the present moment.

I praise and thank God and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord for the gift of his peace.

One final thought: We cannot share peace if we do not have peace. If we want there to be peace in our homes, we have to have peace within ourselves. Then we can share it.

THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU!

And now before you go, a couple of things. First, today is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. It is originally based on the Devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church. The image above is the lovely image of Jesus associated with this devotion. During this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, this Sunday is like its Feast Day.

And now, here is a powerful song to pull all of this together: Click here.

And, finally here are the Mass readings for today. Click here.

With love,

Bob Traupman

Contemplative Writer

 

PEACE BE WITH YOU!

images

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER

 (Divine Mercy Sunday)

When Jesus appeared to the apostles after the resurrection, he would greet them with the words, “Peace be with you.”

They were very distressed and fearful, huddled together in the Upper Room behind locked doors.

They were very sad and distraught that the One they had come to love had been murdered. They were afraid that the religious leaders would crucify them as well.

They very much needed some peace.  So the first thing Jesus says when he appears to them is “Peace be with you.”

Thus, peace is an Easter gift. It’s a gift that we can claim and pray for.

I’m not talking about peace between Israelis and Palestinians or Republicans and Democrats.

We usually think coming to peace with others. But we have to seek peace within ourselves first.

The question is: How do we come to peace within ourselves? If our mind is racing, if we cannot sit still for a few minutes, then we’re not at peace.   Something may be askew in our environment that is causing us to be unsettled and anxious. Something in our life is causing us to not enjoy our own company.

But the real problem for many is that we may not LIKE ourselves. We may choose to avoid our own company by watching TV or listening to music or going out to a bar or a club to avoid being alone.

Yes, peace is a gift that every one of us needs. Peace within ourselves.

Being able to be calm and peaceful is a good indicator of our soul’s health. We should be at peace. And if we’re not, then we have our agenda laid out for us ~ to find out what is causing the lack of peace.   Usually lack of peace is caused by something going on in us on the spiritual level.   We learn to deal with our lack of peace by making deliberate efforts to be alone and to enjoy our own company.

Remember, that peace is a gift of the risen Lord. We can and ought to pray for that gift.

We can value it, beginning today on this second Sunday of Easter. And then we can be assured that it will come to us sooner or later.

I have known both peace AND anxiety; I have known a terrible fear that would give me no peace, even though I desperately sought it.

1) In 1982, I was hospitalized and the medication I was on made me want to crawl out of my skin. I couldn’t settle my limbs for more than a couple of seconds. But then, finally, something happened inside my soul — a religious experience I had in a dream — that calmed me as if a terrible storm had abated. From that moment on, I knew what peace is like.

The experience of peace is soul-embracing. You feel free, you feel content and settled. You feel connected with your loved ones, your environment, with God, indeed with the whole universe.

And you feel worthwhile. You feel that your own connectedness helps form the connection with others, with the whole world.

2).  Two of my friends had a horrible rift that I felt I was asked to try to reconcile . I chose to make a small effort at bringing the two together, but saw that was impossible without heavy sessions between them. My peace had been unsettled by their lack of peace. So, we see that not practicing peacefulness has a ripple effect. More and more people get caught up in the unrest, the lack of peace.

them too. Peter had not yet emerged as their leader, so they were floundering and confused. They were without hope.

That is why it is so important to be at peace.

3.) I now seek an abiding peace, a peace that stays with me. And I take steps to deepen and enrich my feeling of peacefulness.

In recent months I have been given the tools to really enjoy my peace of mind and peace of soul. I can sit for a time at night in the dark, in silence, just simply “being.” In these hours, I realize that I am valuable, even though I am “doing nothing.” I just “be.”

Whenever I used to at preach at funerals, I often ask the question — Would you be content to feel the way you feel at this moment for all eternity? Would you be at peace if God called you to himself in the next moment?

I could sometimes  answer my own question and answer: Yes, I would be content to feel as I feel at the present moment for all eternity.

4.) The Apostles were very disturbed after the crucifixion. Their life with Jesus ~ their hopes and dreams for the future ~ seemed to be totally shattered. They were afraid that the leaders would come for them and crucify them as well.

These issues were so strong in them that they could not bring themselves to believe the message that the Women brought them that Jesus had been raised. They were not at peace.

. . . . Until Jesus appeared to them. They no longer had to rely on faith, which was lacking for all of them, not just Thomas. They experienced the Risen One for themselves.

Then enter Thomas. He is not at peace. He says that unless he puts his finger in the nail-marks and his hand into his side, he will not believe.”

Thomas is honest.

Thomas needed to be convinced. He absolutely refused to say that he understood what he did not understand or to say he believed what he did not believe. There was an uncompromising honesty about him, says our scripture scholar friend William Barclay.

But when he was sure, he went all the way, My Lord and My God,” he proclaimed!

And Jesus responded by saying, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Many more of us doubt significant things in our life. Specifically, we doubt our own self-worth.

We doubt matters of faith. We take our faith far more seriously by questioning and pursuing our questions than by relegating our faith to some closet in our mind. Some of us have had their faith shaken some personal crisis or a scandal in the church.  Pursue your questions, though they may be painful. The questions can lead to a deeper faith. The turmoil, the risk of the Quest is better than stagnation.

Life for me today makes sense. I am at peace.   I consider myself a Witness to the Resurrection. I KNOW Jesus lives. He is not just a historical figure who lived in the past. He lives and reigns in the universe today. I KNOW his love for me in the present moment.

I praise and thank God and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord for the gift of his peace

One final thought: We cannot share peace if we do not have peace. If we want there to be peace in our homes, we have to have peace within ourselves. Then we can share it.

THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU!

And now before you go, a couple of things,First, today is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. 

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. It is originally based on the Devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church. The image above is the lovely image of Jesus associated with this devotion.

And now, here is a powerful song to pull all of this together ~ , Click here.

And, finally here are the Mass readings for today. Click here. 

With love,

Bob Traupman

Contemplative Writer

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your “Wonder” quotient?


img_0064

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER

Easter isn’t over yet, in fact it’s hardly begun. We Catholics celebrate it for fifty days, ten longer than Lent.  (The link for today’s readings can be found at the bottom of this page.)

Here’s an Easter homily I gave a few year’s back:

“Awesome, dude, the surfer said of the huge wave that was larger than life. “Totally awesome!” He was full of awe, full of wonder. He respected the sea; he revered it.

Something awesome’s overwhelming, impressive, venerable, stately, moving, regal. Something wonderful’s awe-inspiring, remarkable, amazing, astonishing, “unreal,” “unbelievable.”

To wonder about something is to ponder, meditate, reflect, marvel at, think about something wonderful.

What are You in awe of, my friend? What do you wonder about?

This little guy is reading the Declaration of Independence emblazoned on the wall of the Jefferson MemorialThis little guy’s reading the Declaration of Independence emblazoned on the wall of the Jefferson Memorial

 

Here are a few things to test your “Wonder Quotient.”

Ponder each one for a moment.

. . . Have you ever sat in silence on a mountaintop, gazing at the stars?

. . . Have you ever wondered how many there are? How the earth stays in orbit?

. . . Have you ever wondered how our heart can keep beating nearly a billion times in a lifetime?

. . . How the Internet can call up the page you want in an instant from millions of pages?

. . . How God can keep track of the prayers of millions ~ billions o’ people?

. . . How your dog knows what he knows?

. . . How a friend can love you as much as they do?

.  . . How Christianity has survived for two thousand years?

. . . a surgeon can repair the heart, the size of a grape, of a child in the womb?

The act of wondering is not meant so much to understand something as to be caught up in the mystery of it ~ the unknown, the unknowable ~ as the surfer is caught up in the mystery of the wave.

A person who has no sense of wonder can have no spirituality.

Wondering leads us to God ~ to the totally Other.

Have you ever wondered about the Resurrection of Jesus?

Have you ever wondered how we will rise with Jesus?

What eternal life will be like?

What the dawn of our share of eternity will be like?

Do you think it will be wonderful — awesome?

Do these things beckon you, call you?

The Risen Christ can draw us forward. We are called to ponder our future with the Lord.

This means thinking about our death as well. Looking beyond our dying to our rising to eternal life. It means putting our life in order. It requires some reflection on our part. Some yearning, some joy, some wonder.

Here are the words of the ancient Easter proclamation, the dramatic beginning of the Easter liturgy.

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpets of salvation.

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
Radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!

Rejoice O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
Echoing the might song of all God’s people.
… the “Exultet” from the Easter Vigil liturgy

Easter does not begin with such exultation.

The apostles and the women disciples were crestfallen and fearful. It took them a while to take in what was happening. Fifty days later they were still bewildered. So it is not surprising that many of us take some time before we ”exult” in the Risen Christ. Even for Jesus, he forever bears the marks of his wounds. Forever risen, he is also forever slain.

The joy of Easter is powerful. It is so powerful it can penetrate suffering and sorrow and even persecution. It is the joy that lasts forever and does emerge in us from time to time to exult in exaltation. May you find that joy this Easter deep down in your heart.

The Risen Christ is the focus of our hope as Christians. In fact, no Resurrection, no Christianity. For some of us , we are filled with joy. Our lives are bright and airy and cheerful. For others of us, demonstrations of joy do not come easy. Nevertheless, believing steadfastly in risen life for Jesus and for us, gives us something powerful to hang on to. In the act of hoping is our joy!
“Hope springs eternal” is indeed a worthy and powerful statement.

Let’s take the Resurrection personally this Easter. It’s our greatest gift ~ the gift of  eternal life, the gift of our joy, our hope.

Something awesome to wonder about.

Jesus is risen!

             Indeed he is risen!

Look for the signs of new life in the midst of your difficulties.

Take time to stop and wonder at the beauty of a delicate flower, the breeze caressing your face, the little things that make life worth living.

Expand your wonder quotient today.

Now, before you go, take time for some toe’-tappin, roof-raisin’ glory-spillin’ music! Click here, turn up your speakers and be sure to enter full screen and if you don’t have a Happy Day you’re waitin’ for da darn undertaker!

Now Click here for today’s Scripture readings.

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer