In almost all his resurrection appearances the risen Lord greets his disciples by saying, “Peace be with you”. Our Lord is eager to dispel any fear they may have in their hearts. And when you think about it, without faith we have every reason to live in fear. There is fear of sickness and disease, fear of economic uncertainty, even fear of annihilation in a nuclear disaster. Human existence could very easily be overwhelmed by fear if we didn’t have faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead.
God has shown us that we need have no fear about the future. We find a person trustworthy when he has proven himself. For example, if a doctor has been able to treat you successfully in the past, you have confidence in him when he tells you that you are going to recover from a current illness. If you are lost on a strange road with a driver who has always been able to find his way, you are more than willing to put yourself in his hands.
The Lord Jesus in his resurrection demonstrated that he had overcome sin and death. In fact, through his entire ministry Our Lord revealed that he fulfilled all the promises God had made through the Old Testament era. That’s the main point Saint Peter wanted to make in the sermon we heard in the first reading. God has shown us that he is trustworthy. We all suffered the sickness of sin, and the human race was sick to the point of death. But Our Lord cured us of the ultimate effect of that sickness, which is eternal death.
The words of Our Lord, “Peace be with you”, are not an empty greeting. They express the great gift that should dissolve all fear from our lives. Because of our union with Our Lord we can live our lives with peace in our hearts.