Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A good word to describe Mass--peace: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

(Listen to this homily here.)

            There are many words we can use to describe Mass: mystery, forgiveness, sacrifice or liturgy.  One word we should not forget in relation to Mass is peace.
            St. Paul writes to the Ephesians: “For he is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh…”  Added to this, we just prayed with the Psalmist, “The Lord speaks of peace to his people.”
            Think about how many times we use the word peace in Mass.  “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days…”; “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, peace I leave you, my peace I give you…”; “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.”
            One of the moments we explicitly focus on peace is in the Sign of Peace.  As a child who loved sports, I saw this as half-time of Mass in which I could punch my brother, give a high-five and take a break from what the priest was saying.  Yet this is a time we are to offer reconciliation and peace to those in our family, friends and parish community.  We are to move past grudges and past hurts, symbolically by offering a sign of peace to those around us.
            In a world filled with violence, war and terrorism, we all desire peace.  This desire must start in our own hearts, and it is in the Mass that we experience the grace, love and mercy of the Prince of Peace.

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