Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peace of Christ

The day after tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Christmas. Christ messages had strong undertones about peace. It is interesting to study the background of the word peace from a linguistic, historical and wisdom tradition perspective.
The Aramaic word that was used by Jesus was ‘Salaam’ which then took the form of ‘Shalom’ in Hebrew. The word ‘Salaam’ continues even today in the Islamic and Sufi traditions. The city of Jerusalem was named thus because it was intended to be the ‘city of peace’. ‘Ur’ is the word in Aramaic for city and ‘salaam’ for peace.

Shalom, in the liturgy and in the transcendent message of the Christian scriptures, means more than a state of mind, of being or of affairs. Derived from the Hebrew root ‘shalam’ – it means to be safe or complete, and by implication, to be friendly or to reciprocate. Shalom, as term and message, seems to encapsulate a reality and hope of wholeness for the individual, within societal relations, and for the whole world. ‘Shalom Aleichem’ in Hebrew and the Arabic ‘Assalamu Alaikum’ means ‘may you be well’. Here the word ‘well’ is an all encompassing state of well being. It covers the four areas of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual potentialities of any individual being greeted.

The Gospel of John is perhaps the only canonical text which tries to evoke the deeper elements of Christ ministry. In this Gospel there are five times the word peace is mentioned as spoken by Jesus, twice before his death and thrice after his resurrection. I will quote these passages for reference:
  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” …….. John 14:27
  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”……. John 16:33
  • ……. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”………. John 20:19
  • Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."…. John 20:21
  • ………. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”……… John 20:26
The importance of peace as a gift to a spiritual seeker, that is for anyone aspiring to become the Son of the Father, is vividly brought out as peace is chosen over the gifts of this world and all the teachings of Christ is for the ultimate purpose of attaining the inner peace which is so essential for realizing our true identity as being one with the Father. The Spirit manifestation of Jesus after resurrection always invoked the ‘peace greetings’.

Given this context it is important that we understand the meaning of peace. Peace is the state of harmony and balance of both the body and spirit. This is the reason that today Chakra healing always addresses the balancing and free harmonious flow of energy through the Sushmana, Pingala and Ida nadis. In all his teaching Jesus insists on a balanced way of life irrespective of whether it be eating, drinking, fasting or physical purification in the physical arena or in the purification of the spirit through forgiving, sharing, praying and worshiping. We are answerable only to inner spirit that dwells in us. “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”…..
Luke 12:3

Jesus was the prime mover of individual consciousness from a moral domain to an ethical sphere.
Moral was imposed through laws of the old covenant and this was what Jesus witnessed in his lifetime and his teachings and through a new covenant, He targeted at invoking the ethical behaviour dictated from the pure consciousness of the indwelling Father to achieve inner harmony and completeness. Let us in this Christmas season make a beginning towards a purely inner cleansing so that we may attain a true vision of the Father through Christ consciousness.

May the Peace of Christ be with you!


  1. The prayer in the catholic liturgy during the mass "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth." is an every day emphasis on this wonderful aspect of life! Thank you and a happy Xmas to you!

  2. Thanks Annan, for yoour beautiful reflection to make Christmas more meaningful and rich.

  3. Small correction:

    "Salaam" is Arabic not Aramaic. The Aramaic cognate of the Arabic "Salaam" and the Hebrew "Shalom" is "Shlama."

    Peace and Merry Christmas,
    Steve Caruso

    Translator, Aramaic Designs

    Author, The Aramaic Blog

  4. Thanks Steve for the correction.

  5. SS, Beautifully reflected!
    A very happy Xmas to you & lots of love.

  6. Dear Susan,
    Thanks for the appreciation and may the spirit of Christ, born in us every moment, continue to bless us in every work we do to empower humanity towards its higher state of being.