GROW as a Disciple of Jesus: Hit the ‘pause’ Button and Ask Jesus to Enter Your Day

"Peace Be With You" (Jn 20:19)

The kitchen is my “calm in the storm.” I’m happy when I’m whipping up some food for someone who is hungry, sad or needs a little love. Recently, I was making a batch of cinnamon rolls for a friend who needed a lift. It was at the end of a hectic day, and I was trying to cram one more thing in. The dough was rolled out and smeared with butter and brown sugar. In a quick twist to the cupboard, I grabbed, and was about to sprinkle on the cinnamon. Thank goodness I paused an instant to realize that I was about to plaster the buttery, sugary dough with CHILI POWDER instead of cinnamon. After putting the rolls in the pan, I decided to be still and seek some peace.

We are busy people on the move. While a good portion of our activity is pleasing to the Lord, what about those times when we run ourselves so ragged we nearly put chili powder in our cinnamon rolls? The crazy pace of life can rob us of Christ’s beautiful gift of peace. If we scramble around without his peace, we can be overcome by worry, anxiety and stress. If we’re often frazzled and overwhelmed, perhaps it’s time for some peace.

When Jesus greeted the disciples in the locked room with the words, “Peace be with you,” he met them in the middle of their fear, grief, anxiety and worry. He’s willing to do the same for us each day. Like the disciples, we simply have to open the door and let him enter in. If you aren’t sure how to do that, here are a few simple steps for finding his peace.

First, we have to be still and be present. Second, we need to simplify our lives and trade our “more, bigger, better” thinking for “enough and less” thinking. The equation is simple: less world; more Jesus. The third thing we can do is to think his thoughts. St. Paul told the Philippians, whatever is good, kind, lovely, pure … think of these things. (4:8) We can dwell on the troubles and worries of the world, and the shortcomings and disappointments of our day, or we can prayerfully consider the things of Christ. Go ahead, hit your pause button and ask Jesus to enter with his peace.

Pray every day: Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, offer the day to the Lord. Review each activity of the day in your mind and invite Jesus to walk with you through each event and bless you with a peaceful spirit.

Study the faith: Read Chapter 4 of St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. Slowly read and study his words written to those who, much like us, were trying to peacefully live their faith and draw deeper into relationship with the Risen Christ.

Engage in parish life: Wholeheartedly offer others the Peace of Christ at Mass. It’s more than a handshake, it’s an act of praying that his peace will truly enter in to another. Attend a Divine Mercy Sunday celebration and join Catholics worldwide as they pray for Christ’s mercy and peace in the world.

Serve others’ needs: If you know someone who is going through a time of turmoil or stress, offer to watch their children, help them catch up on household tasks or simply sit together and listen to and pray with them, asking for the Lord’s peace in their situation.