St Sharbel Church Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
May 17, 2008
Father Paul Mouawad and Beloved Parishioners;
Bishops Aboujaoude and Mansour;
Beloved clergy, religious and laity;
“Peace I leave you my peace I give you.” These words of our Lord seems at times impossible to attain, especially in a world that seems to prefer conflict, divisions and hatreds rather than peace. But still our Lord said, “I give you peace, not as the world gives peace, but as I give.”
These words help us to understand that there will always be conflicts, divisions and hatreds in the world. This may never change. But the followers of Christ will always find the peace that Christ gives, which is not as the world gives.
In other words, we will always find in Christ the love we need to overcome the world so bent on hatred and division. With our love for Christ, we will not need to return evil for evil, but rather we will overcome evil with good.
O Lord, give us that peace that only You can give. And may God grant us that peace where we live, here, in Lebanon and throughout the world.
Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir
(Reprinted with permission.)