April 14, 2024

Again, Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)
“Peace be with you” was the most beautiful greeting uttered by the risen Jesus to the troubled apostles and disciples. It was not said once but many times. It is also the best greeting today. That is why in the Holy Eucharist, “Peace be with you” is said in the introductory rites to start the Eucharistic celebration. For commentators or preachers, it is not necessary to greet the congregation with “Good morning” because the best greeting was already said by the presider, “Peace be with you.”
It is also the greeting that affirmed the good shepherding of Jesus. He saw his team troubled due to his suffering and death. His first move when he rose from the dead was to console, lift his apostles from frustration, and give them hope and life.
How can we generate the greeting of Jesus to our communities today? The mission to spread peace is everybody’s responsibility. It is a noble project but sometimes taken for granted because peace making is sometimes focused on sheer absence of war and yet many are troubled. We are all morally and spiritually mandated to collaborate for peace.
Good leadership must be conformed with the Good Shepherd no other than Jesus Christ. The Good Shepherd must be the point of unity and justice, one who works for peace rooted in justice.
These are how Jesus defines a good shepherd:
First, “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them.” (John 10:11) A good leader therefore is capable to sacrifice his time, treasure, and talent for his people and for the good of the community.
Second, a good shepherd knows his flock and his flock know him. (cf. John 10:12) In other words, the good shepherd is immersed in his flock and thus, there is a deep sense of communion.
We will choose new sets of leaders in 2022 to shepherd us and to help us in our peace journey. If we did not see God and we want him to see him, let us work for peace, for peace is the face of God in our communities. Peace is the highest form of human development.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are the official institutions entrusted with the serving and protection of peace. It is therefore our moral mandate to support the uniformed institutions by helping them in the peace journey and by correcting them when they fail to do their job or worse when they violate their mission. The church, of course, is never behind in peace keeping and the protection of the dignity of man to include his/her human rights. Hence, it is a beautiful imagery to see uniformed men and women collaborating with the church.
On April 29, the town of Sagada, Mountain Province headed by Mayor James Pooten, Jr. has conducted a meeting on Sagada peace and development circle convention with the AFP, PNP, the church, and other non-government organizations.
It is therefore the common apostolate to continue spreading peace and working for peace, to curb crimes and to condemn anything that hampers peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Here is a recent Easter song composition that we can use during Easter season until Pentecost Sunday.

LUKE 24:35

D sus

Be still my friends for I am with you.
Be not afraid. Let peace be with you.

Why are you troubled?
Why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands. Look at my feet.
Touch me and see me.
It is I. Peace be with you.

Be still my friends for I am with you.
Be not afraid. Let peace be with you.

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