Bishop Gruss: God wants to give us His peace

God does not want us to worry or be anxious. Rather, he wants to give us a tremendous gift this Advent season and every day of our lives. He wants to give us His peace. Bishop Robert Gruss shared this message during his December First Friday presentation at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw. 

“The Season of Advent is all about hopeful and joyful expectation,” said Bishop Gruss. “It is a season whereby God desires to improve the quality of our lives, but only if we live in hope and with expectation. Expect a miracle!” 

Bishop Gruss observed that rather than expecting God to work miracles in our lives, and remembering that God desires to be with us, we often allow ourselves to be distracted by a busyness that disturbs us and makes us anxious. Bishop Gruss stressed the importance of taking time to be still and seek the peace that can only come from the Prince of Peace.    

“In his Messianic prophecy in chapter 6, the Prophet Isaiah names Jesus ‘Prince of Peace,’” said Bishop Gruss. “His rule is one of peace. If that is the case, it begs the question, ‘Have I placed myself totally under his rule?’ In other words, is Jesus truly the Lord of my life?  Is Jesus truly the love of my life? Plainly put, have I fallen in love with Him? In other words, is the One who desires to fill me up with this peace every day why I get out of bed in the morning? Is it what seizes my attention? Is it what amazes me with joy and gratitude?” 

Relationship with Jesus 

Bishop Gruss then emphasized the importance of a relationship with Jesus.  

“In lively faith, this relationship with the Lord is not a means to something else,” said Bishop Gruss. “This relationship is heaven. To be with Jesus every day in an encounter in prayer is heaven!” 

Bishop Gruss shared that when our relationship with Jesus is important to us, we will be willing to change things in order to be with Jesus. Bishop Gruss then pointed to a common impediment to this relationship and peace. 

“What causes us to become agitated, disturbed or irritated?” asked Bishop Gruss.  “We cause it by trying to control everything, even things out of our control -- by trying to resolve everything by ourselves and trying to go through life alone. It would be more advantageous and efficacious to remain peacefully before the gaze of God and to allow Him to work in us with His wisdom and power, which are infinitely superior to ours.” 

Bishop Gruss then spoke about how the devil tries to disturb our peace and paralyze us through fear of death, suffering, not having enough, etc. He also discussed how our fears suggest that God is not enough, that he is not in control and that we should not trust God. 

Do not be afraid 

“Don’t be afraid!” echoed Bishop Gruss. “They say that this command, or a variation of it, appears three hundred and sixty-five times in the Bible. That is once per day. This was the first word that Pope Saint John Paul II shouted into our troubled times. ‘Do not be afraid!’”  

In closing, Bishop Gruss made a few suggestions for our spiritual lives. One is that we should live with the Lord in the present, and marvel at every moment as a gift from God. 

“Be like a little child who deeply trusts his mom and dad,” said Bishop Gruss. “Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with this same deep trust in the tender God who deeply loves you unconditionally. If we want to live in the peace of Christ, we must completely surrender our lives to him, so that He can live through us. Perhaps this can be the miracle we should ask for and hope for in this Advent season.”