My Peace I Give to You
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Concerning the Eucharist, St. John Chrysostom asks the question: For whom was Christ slaughtered, and why? His answer is that this sacrifice is in order to make peace between heaven and earth, to make you a friend of the angels, to reconcile you with the God of all. To make of you a friend, who were an enemy and adversary... This sacrifice took place that you may be at peace with your brethren. Peace is reconciliation, and this reconciliation is the content and gift of Christ to His Church, to us. He said to the apostles at the last Supper: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27).
The fallen world is an arena filled with enmity and dissension, a struggle for survival expressed in fear and conflict, both in the world around us and even in our hearts. We are taught, and confess, that by His saving death on the Cross, joy has come into all the world. That joy is peace and reconciliation. The Apostle Paul writes that God has reconciled all things to Himself through Christ, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His Cross. (Colossians 1:20)
By our participation in the Eucharist, drawing near with true repentance, in faith and in love, we enter into, and are united to this peace, to Christ Who is for us God's peace. Through Communion, we are together 'in Christ', united to God and one another. As we see in the lives of the saints, the closer we draw to God, the more He dwells within us, and more He dwells in us the more His grace is manifest and touches others. Through the Divine Liturgy we are always being summoned to enter into the peace from above, the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are given the grace and strength to 'make peace'.
- Fr Andrew