Peace Uproots Terror

Peace Uproots Terror

Sunday’s Readings

In today’s first reading, we are met with a different group of apostles than the ones we met after Jesus was crucified. After his death, the apostles hid in an upper room and were racked with terror. Jesus had been murdered in an excruciating spectacle. They feared that not only had their beloved friend and teacher died, but also the vision of the Kingdom of God that Jesus had proclaimed. The apostles had sacrificed everything for this new vision. Even though they were told that Jesus would rise again, state-sanctioned violence worked as it was designed. Jesus’ murder was a public killing meant to root terror into the hearts of those who followed him or dared to challenge the state in any way. Huddled together in terror is how the apostles are met by the resurrected Christ, whose first message is “peace.”

Peace Uproots Terror

We have now arrived at the Ascension, where Jesus once again leaves the apostles to return to God. Can you see the parallel and difference? The apostles, who include women, are all there to say goodbye to Jesus. Together, they returned to that upper room and prayed. There is no sadness, no fear. There is now only peace. With Jesus’ resurrection and time spent with the apostles in this new way, the vision of the kingdom is restored and expanded. Death did not have the last word, and peace uprooted terror. 

Still, there is suffering to be had in the name of Christ. In the second reading, St. Peter is writing to the early Christian communities in Asia Minor who are under threat of persecution. He instructs them to rejoice in their sufferings they share with Christ and not to be ashamed to act in ways that model Jesus’ life. But there is also temptation. There is temptation to act as the oppressor acts: to murder, to thieve, and to do evil. When we are made to suffer under oppression and threat, there is the temptation to respond in like violence. Yet the message, once again, is peace.

The message for us today has been echoed for centuries. The work of justice, the work of building the kingdom of God, is difficult, and we will suffer. We will suffer because oppression chooses violence, yet we come with a message of peace. We respond to violence with the peace that Christ gives us. And we do it together. We come down from that mountaintop together. We gather together. We pray together.

For Reflection:

  • What does the resurrected Christ’s message of peace mean to you in the present and in moments of suffering?
  • How does gathering together aid the work to overcome oppression?
3 replies
  1. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    The Acts of the Apostles fills us with hope as the apostles know that there work is to bring the word of God to others. They do so with joy, strength and encouragement. They understand the suffering this message brings as there is opposition to the message.Yet in peace they continue and so we do also. We continue to bring the word of God to others in peace. We bring the peace of the community to others and we bring the peace of each individual to the community. Thank you, Therese Mdarie for your inspiring thoughts.

  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Peace is a meaningful process. Lacking stamina, obstacles like terror fade away. Long live peace.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    Peace in moments of suffering means that the inner peace of Christ must make itself manifest on the outside in moments of suffering. With peace comes empathy, compassion, understanding and love. When I am caught up in suffering I am reflecting the suffering of those around me and multiplying it, instead of diffusing it with His love to mitigate the suffering of those I encounter each day.


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