You may have seen photos in the newspaper of the broken dam in California which shows us how water is an awesome and powerful element. We need only think of the raging waters of a flood to appreciate its devastating force. In the scriptures control over water was considered a sign of divinity. God alone could overcome the force of water and bring peace to its turbulence. Water is the central symbol in the story about Noah, but two other symbols are also at work. They are the dove and the olive branch, which have long been seen as signs of peace. They were both a sign to Noah that God by his almighty power had brought the waters under control and had restored peace to the world.
When Noah emerged from the ark, the first thing he did was to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. He realised that it was God who had granted peace to him and his family. In our own faith, we have more than symbols of peace. We have Our Lord himself, and he is the one who has overcome the turbulent waters of sin which alone can destroy us. The peace of mind and heart which he grants us are drawn from the conviction that we are right with God, that through his death and resurrection he has set us free from the bondage of sin and reconciled us with the Father. We now have nothing to fear. As members of God’s household, we are safe and secure. Anxiety need not hold any grip on us.
During the Mass, we pray that God may grant us peace, a peace which comes from our union with Christ in the Eucharist. But peace is something to be shared. In mutual peace, we all participate in the one body and blood of Christ, who is the cause of peace and unity in our lives.