The Peace of God Takes Many Forms
By Bishop David J. Malloy
We are told in the Gospels that on the night of His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples who were fearfully huddled in a locked room. His first words to them were “Peace be with you.” (Jn 20:19, 21).
As always, Jesus chose His words carefully. That greeting of the Risen Lord was not simply a friendly salutation. Rather, Jesus was imparting to His followers one of the first fruits of His Resurrection. The peace of God Himself was given to them.
That peace can take many forms. On one hand it can be the peace that gives hope and serenity to an anguished and doubtful heart. 
God’s peace based in the Resurrection comforts one, for example, who frets about what happens to loved ones when they die. Such peace helps each of us as we think of our own coming meeting with Jesus in judgment.
That peace can take the form of the gift of consolation and serenity in time of trial or even a serious or lengthy illness. We have all probably met people who impressed us with their peace of heart in the midst of business, family or other problems in life.
There is also a peace of soul that moves us to accept joyfully whatever God gives to us. In that way our desires are held in check. Our ambition is tempered by seeking God’s will for us. 
Combining faith and that gift of peace, we are more content and freed from the constant desire for more of this world’s goods. How much easier it then is to be attentive to the poor and needy if we begin by serving them with Christ’s peace in our hearts.
As we look around our society and our world, don’t we sense what happens when there is an absence of Christ’s peace? 
We have become an increasingly secularized nation. Faith and religion are being depicted as sources of division, not of unity and wisdom. Public prayer is often discouraged. God is being pushed out of the public square and often out of the daily lives of people without faith.
Without that common bond of faith, we are left to build a world of our own making. Such a world is constructed only upon human experience with all of its weakness and sinfulness. Without God, despite our best efforts, we are bound to fail. And without God, we lack that peace that Jesus gives.
In place of that peace, don’t we feel the anger that seems so widespread in life today? Our political discourse, for example, is increasingly based in anger. 
Rather than reasoned debate in search of solutions, we are accustomed to the politics of smear and personal destruction. As a result, we are increasingly divided as a people. 
And with the increasing expansion of government, this source of anger is ever more present in the lives of each one of us.
Of course there are also so many stories about the divisions and anger in families. Divorces and marriage breakups are a perennial focus of anger and deep pain. So too is the sad reality of anger and division among siblings and other family members.
The point is that the peace of the Risen Jesus is something real and needed in our daily lives. We all long for peace. But the peace that comes only from human effort is often the “peace” that is imposed by the strong on the weak, of the have’s on the have not’s.
The peace of the Risen Lord is deep and everlasting because it is the first fruit of the peace of heaven itself. During this Easter season we should pray for and seek that peace which only God can give.