Peace Be With You


Peace Be With You

I still find it hard to wrap my head around all the ways in which God has made each of us so different. While our differences can be exhilarating, it can also be challenging to deal with others’ differences; wouldn’t things be much easier if we all thought the same? What if we all had the same political views or even religious views? I mean, it may not be very interesting, but at least we would be able to agree. Everything in our world seems so divided; a Provincial election here in Alberta can attest to that. It is so easy to hurt one another because of our differences. Knowing that God could have created us to be more alike to avoid all the uncomfortableness but didn’t should tell us something. In the First Reading on Sunday, the story is about the tongues that came and rested on each of the disciples. Isn’t this interesting; the Holy Spirit could have rested on the ears of humankind and had everyone understand the same language yet choose to work with the diversity already in place.

I believe fully, as with all things of God, that it was intentional. Again, what is this supposed to tell us? I think that God is trying to tell us that not only does our strength lie in being in community, but that we are at our best when we embrace our individuality and all our differences. We need to have struggles in order to get the best outcome. In John’s Gospel account, Jesus actually prepares us for it. He shares peace with the disciples and then instructs them to go and do the same. He then speaks to forgiveness; why would he do that? Because God knows how difficult it is to be ourselves, use our unique gifts and talents, and be different; however, it is also necessary. As we try to understand each other’s perspectives, like trying to understand a new language, we may not always get it right. We will misunderstand, we may misinterpret, and another person’s words may not translate as intended. And so Jesus reminds the disciples and us to forgive each other and to share peace, even with those that mean us harm. Being a Christian isn’t easy; it is not for the faint of heart. We must share peace, not just by shaking hands at mass, but by creating an atmosphere of welcome, mercy and love. We will hurt each other as we try to live in community, and we will need to forgive each other. However, we must remember that this is necessary. We are called to be different; this is how we will be the best community we can be.

Peace be with you.

By Serena Shaw
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate
Phone: (780) 231-3066

OMI Lacombe Canada – Vocation Team: