The Sign of Peace

Part 4, Carmel Bulletin, 12 October 2014

The Sign of Peace
Photo © 2014, Alphonsus Fok, 321 Photography

The Rite of Peace is described in the Missal as an action that symbolises “peace, communion and charity” (Roman Missal, Order of Mass, no. 128).

When we look closely at the text for this rite, we can see the gift of peace that this rite symbolises:

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you… (no. 126)

Here we quote the gospel according to John, more specifically a part of this gospel’s account of the Last Supper:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.  (John 14:27-28, NRSV)

There is no greater sign of Christ’s presence with us than his presence in the Mass, particularly in the sharing of his own Body and Blood.  The Eucharist binds us into unity with Christ and with each other – all of us who share in one bread and one cup.  How appropriate, then, that we prepare for this communion by recognising Christ as the source of true peace, peace the world cannot give, and pray that God will “graciously grant [the Church] peace and unity in accordance with [God’s] will.”

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