Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
On several occasions growing up, I remember seeing the bumper sticker on cars that read, “No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.” It was a clever play of words, but there is certainly some truth to that bumper sticker.
This Sunday’s Gospel comes to us from Luke 12: 49-53. Reading these verses might leave us uneasy. Jesus says, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” But is this not the same Christ Who said to the Apostles on the night of the Last Supper, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” ( Jn 14:27)? Did he not, after his Resurrection, appear to his friends in the locked room and greet them, “Peace be with you” ( Jn 20:26)? How are we supposed to make sense of all of this?
Jesus’s primary mission was not to establish social peace in this world and in this life. If it was (and many think it was), then it seems he has failed: parts of our world are in war or on the brink of war; Christians are being persecuted for their faith; and there is division even within our homes (cf. Lk 12: 52-53), to name a few. Instead, Jesus’ mission was to reveal, to those who desire it, the “narrow gate” that leads to salvation (cf. Mt 7:13-14). On the other side of this “narrow gate” will our true Peace be found, Who is Christ himself.
Regarding this peace, remember that Christ said, “Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” ( Jn 14:27). The peace the world offers is fleeting and only temporary. The peace that Jesus Christ offers is one that is enduring and will sustain us even amid life’s strife and conflicts.
“No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know Peace.”
Have a blessed week.