His Legacy of Peace

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”
Be glad, His Spirit’s here to stay.

“Peace be with you; I give you my peace. Not as the world gives peace do I give it to you. Do not be troubled; do not be afraid. You heard me say: ‘I am going away, but I am coming (back) to 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 taught me to do.” (John 14:27-31)

Reflection

The hour of painful separation was at hand and an even greater suffering was coming. 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) was necessary for their gain, because “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 and obedience to the Father’s Will, the peace that He bequeathed to His followers would prevail and reign eternal.

In His will, Jesus left His disciples what they needed most to overcome their fears – peace. This kind of peace was what emboldened St. Paul and Barnabas, who, in spite of persecutions, like being stoned in Lystra (Acts 14:19), proceeded to proclaim the Risen Lord in eight other cities, “opening the door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). 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-control (Gal 5:22). Peace is our most precious possession that money cannot buy. It is giving even when our store is running out. It is simply 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. It is, after all, the Holy Spirit Who makes peace through us, whenever we share, forgive, and help in carrying the burdens of others. It is those who are blessed with such a gift who are truly at peace, because they are God’s peacemakers. As Jesus reminds us, “Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” And should they be persecuted “for the sake of righteousness . . . (assuredly) theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:9-10) With this thought, each and every day, whether in peace or in turmoil, we can praise God, and say, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa 118:24).

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. “My mouth shall speak Your praises, Lord; all flesh will bless Your holy Name forever.”* Amen. (*Psa 145:21)

Comments are closed.