“Peace be with you”: Vermigli on John 20:19

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If we look deeply at the world or at ourselves, there is never any reason for joy. Indeed, they rather furnish reason for weeping. We are often so sad both because of our guilty consciences and because of the darkness of our mind and the weakness of our will. The fear of hell draws near, and besides many calamities attack us, and unless Christ is present, our lives turn sour. But he comes to us, and if we embrace him with faith, then everything becomes peaceful, and like the apostles we are filled with joy at the sight of the Lord. Since the gospel is the joyous news, through it Christ comes to us and makes us happy. Christ our Lord is not like the lords of this world. If they come, they bring oppression, exact tribute and never come empty-handed. Let us see, what will he bring? The peace, and joy, and the certainty of resurrection. Peace has two aspects. One removes things that disturb and foster trouble. The other allows things which cause affliction still to remain but consoles and strengthens our souls so that they are strong and not passive but happy and joyous. The first is the peace of the world, the second is the peace of God.

 

Peter Martyr Vermigli, “A Sermon on a passage in John, Chapter 20:19-23”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, pp. 229-230).

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