“Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that the course of our world may be directed by your peaceful rule and that your Church may rejoice, untroubled in her devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Our Opening Prayer at Mass certainly expresses the concern of so many human hearts today and through the ages. A fallen world easily forgets God and opens up itself to the spiritual, moral, emotional and physical flood that threatens devastation. When we turn back to God, the comfort and aid we receive through opening ourselves to Him is far more remarkable. For the faithful, there is always hope in this world and always the need to turn back to God, Who alone can give our world the
for which we hunger. We hear Jesus’ promise at each Mass:
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”
He goes on to say that it is not a peace that the world gives. A fallen world, forgetful of God, is too prone to cling to the things of this world, which is all it fears it has and fears it will lose. Fear rules the fallen world and tempts its members to be selfish and possessive. The Gospel calls us to be compassionate and generous, and promises us that this is the “narrow path” to true and lasting peace.
As members of the Body of Christ we have a responsibility to share this message of hope by what we say and do. So many of our brothers and sisters within the Church and outside the Church are troubled by fears and anxiety. This affects each of us, of course. Turning to Jesus continually will help us to find the way to be patient, kind, and strong in love. Relying on ourselves and the things of this world while forgetting about God will leave us in fear, confusion, sadness and distress. We are no help to ourselves or others when we rely only on ourselves. Even then, we can be consoled by the Word of the Lord today:
“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you”
(Isaiah 49:15). This applies to each one of us in this world, even the worst of us. The extension of mercy from God to return to the truth and to love is there for us.
St. Paul reminds us that judgment belongs to our Merciful God and that he, Paul, does not even judge himself, though he strives to deepen continually his union with Christ. Jesus tells us in the Gospel (Matthew 6:24-34) not to
“worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear… If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?”
And the Psalmist (62) declares:
“Only in God is my soul at rest; from Him comes my salvation.”
Why do we look elsewhere first? May the Lord help us first, last and always to look to Him.
In Christ, son of Mary,