BRIDGEPORT – Peace may be elusive in our personal lives and society, but the gift of spiritual tranquility is available to us if we have trust in the Lord, Bishop Caggaino said at the online Mass for the Third Sunday of Easter.
In his homily from the Catholic Center chapel, the bishop reflected on the Gospel of Luke in which the risen Jesus stands in the midst of the disciples and says, “Peace be with you.”
“In today’s gospel the Lord offers a gift to his disciples as he it offers to us, and it is a gift that human beings long for– Peace.”
The bishop said peace is a precious and divine gift, but also a very fragile and fleeting gift.
“Peace be with you seems to be far away in these turbulent and challenging times that divide us, and in the pandemic days we’re living,” he said.
Yet the Lord gives us peace for the taking, but we must learn how to receive it, he said.
Many define peace as an absence of war or turmoil, but that condition seems to be elusive because “men and women are quick to go into conflict among nations or in social media,” he said.
Others think of peace as tranquility where everything is in its proper place and all is well, but that too is short lived because we continue to face unexpected challenges such as the pandemic “which has upended our lives,” he said.
The Lord is offering something different, “a spiritual tranquility that is in the depth of our your heart and mine, a place where we can be at peace, at rest and tranquil in the knowledge that God is there with us in every moment of the day.”
The bishop said God loves us regardless of what we’ve done. Even when he seems distant to us, he never turns his back on us, “He is there loving us to the end.”
“Deep spiritual tranquility is a gift the Lord is willing to give us. For he and his Spirit is the one who dwells in our hearts, but we need to accept it.”
The bishop said that often we do not feel peaceful and we may be left in turmoil when our attempts to forgive, to offer peace and even perform acts of kindness are unappreciated or rejected by others.
“Allow me to ask the question, When Jesus was hanging on the Cross, for all of the pain, sacrifice and suffering he endured, how do you think he felt knowing that all of his pain and suffering were being scoffed at and mocked?”
The bishop said Jesus was serving a meal that much of humanity had contempt for, but he was sustained by knowing that “he died not only for our sake, but did it in obedience to the Father who loved him every moment of every day. It was that assurance that allowed him to give his life over to those who did not appreciate it and did not want it.”
Tranquility does not rest on the response of those who would receive the gift, but on the love of the Father who will never fail us, the bishop said.
If we look to others for validation, we may be happy to receive it, but it is best to remember to “keep our eyes fixed on the Lord who is always there to give us encouragement and strength,” he said.
“The Lord is offering us a peace only he can give us,” he said, a peace without conditions that no one can take away from us.
The bishop said in a world filled with so much strife and at a time when our acts of kindness, caring, and forgiveness are not always received well by our neighbors, “Only one can be with us and love us to the end, when he whispers to you and me, ‘Peace be with you.’”
The Bishop’s Sunday Mass is released online every Sunday morning at 8 am and available for replay throughout the day. To view the Bishop’s Sunday Mass, recorded and published weekly, click this link or visit the YouTube Mass Playlist. You are invited to join Bishop Caggiano for the Sunday Family Rosary every Sunday at 7:30 pm visit: https://formationreimagined.org/sundayfamilyrosary/