In the gospel tonight, Luke states, “Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them ‘Peace be with you.’” This phrase, “peace be with you,” is mentioned a lot and we say it to strangers in Mass every Sunday. This simple phrase that we might glance over is easily forgotten. In society today, it is safe to say we need more peace. Every day, we hear of another tragedy in our neighborhoods, country, and world. Before reconnecting with and growing my faith, to me, peace just meant no more violence. After going through the RCIA program, attending Mass every Sunday, and overall growing in my faith, I now know that peace is so much more. Last year was a very difficult year for me. I lost three very important people in my life in just five months. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. It felt like the pain of losing someone was never going to end. I questioned why these three individuals had to pass so suddenly and before their time. My heart broke for the people they left behind that also couldn’t understand why their loved one was taken. It was hard to find peace during this difficult time on top of trying to handle my school work and playing lacrosse. If it weren’t for my faith and trust in God, I know this difficult time would have been much worse.
Growing in my faith all started thanks to Chrissy Donohue, one of my best friends here at Neumann. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have gone on the SEARCH retreat and I would have never gotten involved with Campus Ministry. Therefore, I chose Chrissy to be my sponsor for my confirmation this year. During this time and after the retreat, I made it a mission to start going to Sunday Mass more and to be more involved with Campus Ministry. Whenever I’m in Mass, I’m able to find peace. I can easily say that nursing school is no walk in the park. It’s one of the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever been through. During the most stressful times of nursing school and playing lacrosse here at Neumann, by going to Mass I’m able to find peace, even if it’s just for 45 minutes.
After dealing with losing one of my best friend’s mom to cancer, my uncle from a sudden heart attack, and one of my close friends from high school, I thought that I would never find peace again. Thankfully, I have my friends, family, and faith that put the pieces back together. Peace isn’t just about ending war. To me, it’s about being content in life and knowing that whatever life throws at you God will be there and bring peace. I want to ask one thing from anyone reading this. The next time you’re in Mass and the priest asks us to “offer each other the sign of peace,” reach out to those who need it most and don’t just say “peace be with you,” because it is what we’re supposed to do. Say it and mean it. This small gesture will go a long way for those who need it most, like it did for me.