In an Angelus address, Pope Francis teaches us where we can find the peace that lasts.
Today’s Gospel passage (cf. Mk 1:21-28) tells of a typical day in Jesus’ ministry; in particular, it is the Sabbath, a day dedicated to rest and prayer: people went to the synagogue. In the synagogue of Capernaum, Jesus reads and comments on the Scriptures. Those present are attracted by his manner of speaking; their astonishment is great because he shows an authority that is different to that of the scribes (v. 22). Furthermore, Jesus shows himself to be powerful in his deeds as well. Indeed, a man of the synagogue lashes out, addressing him as the One sent by God: He recognizes the evil spirit, orders him to leave that man, and thus drives him out (vv. 23-26).
Jesus preaches with his own authority, as someone who possesses a doctrine derived from himself, and not like the scribes who repeated previous traditions and laws that had been handed down. They repeated words, words, words, only words […] that is how they were. Just words. Instead, Jesus’ words have authority; Jesus is authoritative. And this touches the heart. Jesus’ teaching has the same authority as God who speaks.
Peace over Discord
Our instinct from experience teaches us that when we watch the news, read articles, and listen to people, we need to be wary of trusting what we see, read and hear. This constant need to hold up to judgment all information, assuming it is at least a half-truth and more than likely false, makes us skeptical people. We doubt everything.
This way of being causes unrest; discord. We lack the peace; tranquility that comes from believing we are receiving truth from what messages come at us.
Pope Francis explains why in Jesus we find true peace:
Indeed, with a single command, he easily frees the possessed man from the evil one and heals him. Why? Because his word does what he says.
To find the peace that only Jesus can provide takes some effort on our part. Specifically, we need to know what He says so we can understand what He will do in us.
This is done by reading Scripture, especially the Gospels. Pope Francis guides us in this:
Always, do not forget, carry a small copy of the Gospel in your pocket or in your bag, to read throughout the day, to listen to that authoritative word of Jesus. And then, we all have problems, we all have our sins, we all have spiritual afflictions; let us ask Jesus: “Jesus, you are the prophet, the Son of God, the one who was promised to us to heal us. Heal me!” Asking Jesus to heal our sins, our ills.
Choose to Believe
When I was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we visited Tabgha; the place where Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fishes, feeding over 5000 people. See Matthew 14:13-21. A Church is built over the rock where Jesus performed this miracle. As I prayed there, kneeling in front of the Tabernacle where our Lord is present in the Blessed Sacrament, I heard Him speak in my heart,
“I still perform miracles. What do you want multiplied?”
My instinct is to doubt, but instead, I choose instead to believe. I take the Lord at His word and I answer Him, “Charity, Lord. I need charity.”
It has been almost seven years since that pilgrimage, and to this day, I feel our Lord’s charity filling me to overflowing . . . and bringing His Peace along with it!
Peace is found in Jesus Christ.
Here are 3 steps to finding Peace:
- Read and Meditate on what Jesus did and said in the Gospels.
- Ask Jesus to act through His Word. He loves when we remind Him of what He speaks through Scripture. Do not hesitate to ask big!
- Do not doubt; choose to believe He will act as He says.
Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.