The Peace of Jesus

John 14: 27-31
Acts 14:19-28 / Ps 145:10-13,21

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
(John 14:27)

Do not be troubled or afraid
If peace may seem so far away,
“This is the day the Lord has made”
Because His Spirit’s here to stay.

(Jesus said to His disciples), “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives peace do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. You heard me say: ‘I am going away, but I am coming (back) for you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you this now before it takes place, so that when it does happen you may believe. It is very little what I may still tell you, for the ruler of the world is at hand, although there is nothing in me that he can claim. But see, the world must know that I love the Father and that I do what the Father has commanded me to do.” (John 14:27-31)

Reflection

The hour of painful separation and trials was coming, and Jesus wanted His disciples to remain calm by following His example. He would soon face His tormentors with divine restraint, meekness and profound courage. Suppressing His own inner turmoil, He encouraged His followers by saying His going to the Father (dying) would be their gain, “for the Father is greater than I.” They would understand His words when the Holy Spirit descended upon them on Pentecost. With little time left, there was not much more He could tell them, only that the “ruler of the world” (Satan) could never claim any victory over His death. Instead, because of His love for the Father, and obedience to His Will, the peace that He bequeathed to His followers would prevail.

In His will, Jesus left His disciples what they needed most to overcome their fears – peace. Obviously, this is the kind of peace that the world can never give. It is what St. Paul understood so well, “surpassing all human understanding, but guarding our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ” (Phil 4:7). This peace is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that comes with love, joy, understanding, patience, kindness, generosity and self-restraint (Gal 5:22). It is giving when our store is running out. It is being happy, grateful for being healthy and alive. It is keeping faith when we cannot understand. It is persevering when all the chips are down. It is forgiving when we are unfairly treated, trusting that our cause is in the hands of a higher Power.

The brand of peace that our Savior gives is not the kind that we can find in this world. No wealth, security, friendship, influence, or even power in this life can ever give the peace of mind and soul that Jesus is teaching us, and has in fact already bequeathed to us through His Holy Spirit. It is, after all, the Holy Spirit Who makes peace through us, whenever we share, forgive, and help in carrying the burden of others. It is the kind of peace borne out of courage and faith, fueled by a passion to serve, as displayed by St. Peter, St. Paul, and all the saints who faced all kinds of trials and tribulations (Acts 14:19-28) to spread the Good News of Jesus. It is those who are blessed with such a gift who are truly at peace, because they are God’s peacemakers.

In times of conflict, Lord, help us to promote Your peace with words and acts that lead to understanding, unity and love, as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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