The Peace of Jesus

John 16: 29-33
Acts 19: 1-8 / Psa 68

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)

God's mercy is beyond measure
No cause to worry or to fear
In times of trouble, feel secure,
With faith in Christ, His peace is here.

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” Jesus replied, “Do you now believe? A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 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 16:29-33)

Reflection

Earlier in this Gospel, Jesus told His apostles, “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” (Jn.16:25-28). In response, they told Jesus that they had fully understood, and “This makes us believe that you came from God.” But Jesus, being omniscient, knew that their faith only went so far as long as He was with them, and they did not know that His “leaving the world and going to the Father” meant that He was going to undergo a most excruciating death in Calvary, and they would abandon Him in fear of their lives. “Yet I am not alone,” He said, “for My Father is with me.” And in the same way, Jesus said, “in me you may have peace.

When we have surrendered ourselves to Jesus and put Him in the center of our lives, we will certainly experience this peace that our Lord Jesus is telling us about. Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will have the gifts of joy and love as well. This was what the 25 participants and their group leaders experienced last Saturday afternoon at the Teresian Daughters of Mary Retreat Center during the talks “Praising and Raising of Hands” given by Sis. Nancy and the “Vocal Prayers” by Sis. Baby. It seemed as if the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of everyone while they were singing and praising God, and making “joyful noise” to the Lord. Many of the ladies and a few of the men could not hold back the flow of tears… to the credit of the music ministry, whose musical accompaniment seemed divinely inspired.

In Jesus we have true peace, but in this world, peace is but an illusion that will never last, because nothing in this world can ever satisfy our selfish desires. As evidenced by the lives of the rich and powerful, the world can only bring us troubles. A man inherited great wealth from his parents. But instead of giving him peace and security, the inheritance only served to estrange him from his children who wanted their share, but which he decided to withhold for fear it would only spoil them. He was caught in a dilemma he had not foreseen. But our Lord tells us to “take heart!” because He has overcome the world. The world has nothing permanent to offer, while in Jesus and His Word, we find all the essential things that we can employ in this life, and which will guarantee our passage into the next life as well. He has enumerated them all in His Gospel teachings, if only we take the time to meditate on them. Read your bible regularly. His life and teachings will bring you peace and transformation.

Lord Jesus, we can never thank You enough for the legacy of peace, joy, love and unity that Your life and teachings have left us. May Your Holy Spirit be with us always. Amen.

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