When we look around the world it’s easy to find anger and division. Our public discourse is so often focused on what divides us, rather than what brings us together, that the idea of finding peace in this world can often seem naive or overly optimistic.
But Catholics should never forget that we serve the Prince of Peace, and that at the Last Supper Jesus told His apostles, “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” Fr. Mark Matthias, a regular Relevant Radio® contributor, recently stopped by Morning Air® to discuss how, through Christ, peace in this world is possible, because the Gospel is the blueprint for world peace.
Fr. Matthias spoke to our human nature, and how often we view peace as merely the subjugation of our enemies. He pointed out that this was true even in Jesus’ lifetime. That many around Him couldn’t recognize Him as the Messiah because they were expecting a conquering hero, not a suffering servant.
Speaking of how Jesus was received in His own time, Fr. Matthias explained that people’s response was, “How dare he claim to be the person who is going to come in and set us free from our enemies, the Romans. Where’s His army? And where are His troops? And where is His sword?”
“But Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would strike them with a rod of His mouth. In other words, He wouldn’t use steel or bronze in a sword to defeat His enemies. He would use the wisdom, and the knowledge, and the love of his words to help convert people’s hearts. And then that way he would slay them into understanding that type of relationship that every person is supposed to be in with God the Father.”
Fr. Matthias also pointed out that everyone wants world peace, but few are willing to do what it takes to start small, and let peace begin with them.
“The peace that Christ brought us must begin within us,” he said. “And that means developing our relationship with Him. And from that inner peace, that we begin to experience from understanding the wisdom and knowledge of Christ’s words, that peace then begins to spread to the people around us.”
“So that peace first begins within us, spreads to our families, as parents teach their children how to live their life for Christ,” he continued. “And then that, of course, spreads into the community, and hopefully through the world as people are raised up with good morals and values from their faith in Christ that they then try to spread throughout the world.”
When we think of the Gospel, we think of the Good News, and it often brings to mind a simple, happy, easy life. But living the Gospel is not always easy. It requires us to pick up our cross daily to follow Jesus. Fr. Matthias pointed out that this is an obstacle we must overcome to find peace in our homes and peace in the world.
“We don’t want to be the first ones to say I’m sorry, or we don’t think we need to say we’re sorry,” Fr. Matthias said. “This is where we need the intervention of Our Lord. His wisdom and His peace, living and dwelling in us, which we call grace.”
“And of course, that comes from us being in communion with Him,” he explained. “He gives us the power to do what we cannot do ourselves. It’s through Jesus, His presence living in us, that we find the patience, the love, the concern to initiate that dialogue even if it needs to begin with, ‘I’m sorry. What happened between us? I hope we can talk.'”
Listen to the full conversation below: