Prophet Zechariah pictures the coming of the Savior/King as a time of peace. Jesus, the Savior/King, has come.
We might ask, in light of all the turmoil in the world around us, where is the peace that he is supposed to bring?
Our question brings to mind that Jesus told us: I do not give you the peace that the world gives. What then is the peace that Jesus brings? He tells us that his peace is only possessed by the child-like – those who are willing to learn from his gentle, humble lead – those willing to yoke themselves to him. The peace that Jesus is able to give is refreshment to the weary and to those who find that this worldly life can be burdensome.
Jesus was the first to experience what many have experienced. Jesus failed to convince the rulers, “Has any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in him? No! The poor and the weak listen to his Word. But this mob who knows nothing of the Law – there is a curse upon them” (John 7:48). He realized that God favors the poor, meaning the ignorant, the afflicted, those ‘who have nowhere to go’, the last in society. “How hard it will be for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven”. Is it because ‘where your treasure is there is your heart’? Throughout history purity of religion comes with poverty and persecution. Wealth, as in the Middle Ages, corrupts the Church. “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6: 10).
Jesus is the heart of our religion. He says, “come to me”. It is to Jesus we have to go. It is not to an organization, or a social group. Catechism is not the center, nor is ritual, traditions, and laws. We have to come to Jesus. You might study catechism, hear homilies, attend Bible or theology classes, but you learn from Jesus only. Jesus says: “learn from me”. He is a patient teacher. He is gentle and humble and will give rest those who learn from him.
But where is Jesus to learn from him? It is lovely to hear, ‘Learn from Jesus’. We can see priests, enter churches and watch preachers on television. But where is Jesus to learn from him? Jesus can’t be seen and so we have identified his religion with what we can see – the church organization whether the universal Catholic Church or some other denomination. We have identified being a ‘devout Catholic’ with going to Mass on Sundays. We have estimated the number of believers by the number of baptized. Jesus said: “it is not those who call me ‘Lord Lord’ who will enter the kingdom of heaven”. If we don’t enter the kingdom of heaven what is the point of being catholic or Protestant?
Jesus says ‘come to me’ – not you who consider yourselves the ‘wise and the learned’ but you who ‘are mere children’. We come humbly like the publican in the temple who would not raise his eyes to heaven. We search for Jesus in humble and personal prayer each day as we listen to his Word. We allow his Word to be alive and active in us and to judge the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Hebrews 4: 12). This will only happen if the Holy Spirit makes his home in our hearts and we are docile to his leading.
Are you willing to put everything aside to search for Jesus in personal prayer? Are you willing to make Jesus the Lord of your life that he may be your Savor too?
May each of us be wise enough to find Jesus in prayer so that we may learn from his Word the secret of inner peace.