Order of Friars Minor Franciscans of Canada

Pentecost: The Gift of Peace

Pentecost: The Gift of Peace

 

It was evening on the day Jesus rose from the dead… he came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After this he showed them his hands and his side…. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit…” – John 20.19-23

We often think of the Holy Spirit as a dove hovering around or as flames burning. Do we ever consider the image of a gift being opened as a symbol of the Holy Spirit? Jesus gives us the very gift of his spirit (see scripture above). This is an intimate gift and one that continues to be opened and given our whole lives long. This gift of God’s peace truly is the powerful gift of Pentecost (a great gift for a birthday).

This gift of Jesus himself who endured pain, suffering and death; who trusted in God; who was open to God’s will; who showed us love – given, sacrificed, alive and true can only be given in peace; a peace that fires the flames of our hearts and calls us to be agents of peace, mercy and love.

So the greatest gift of Pentecost is yes the gift of the Spirit of Jesus and this gift is truly bound in peace. It is opened in so many moments. Do we miss these moments?

In a world full of chaos,
in another tragedy,
in times of devastation
still the gift of Christ’s peace is present.

In the cancer diagnoses,
in the death of a child,
in the pain of hurting marriage
still the gift of Christ’s peace is present.

In the broken promises,
in the broken bonds,
in the broken reconciliation
still the gift of Christ’s peace is present.

In the loss of communication,
in the demands of deadlines,
in the egos we often carry
still the gift of Christ’s peace is present.

In the bloodshed and war,
in the hungry and thirsty,
in the lonely, poor and abandoned
still the gift of Christ’s peace is present.

How we ask? Christ’s peace is more powerful than any moment we encounter. I wonder if we fail to see it because we don’t want to accept that it is present and calling us to change, to life and filling us with strength? I wonder if we fail to see it because we say, “we got this God – we can handle it!” and let our ways become the way instead of Christ’s peace being the way?

We must let the peace of Christ enter in,
we must let the peace of Christ settle us
we must let the peace of Christ penetrate our pain.

Come Holy Spirit
come and dwell in us,
come with your peace.

Come Holy Spirit
open our broken hearts,
open our boarded shut hearts,
open our stony hearts
to your peace.

Come Holy Spirit
squeeze into our pains,
nudge us into your reality,
speak to us clearly
with your peace.

Come Holy Spirit
we long for you,
we desire you,
encourage us to hear:
“Peace be with you”
and so enter into
the peace who is Christ –
who is alive and moving
sending us forth and living in us.
Yes in us!

How does knowing we already have this gift make us feel?
Can we live with this truth? Can we live in peace?
I for one hope so.

Come Holy Spirit!