Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings.
In today’s Gospel (John 14:27-31a), Jesus comforts his disciples with peace, joy and faith knowing that his death is planned. He comforts his disciples, so they’ll be ready for his crucifixion. They’ll be shocked and scared, but the Holy Spirit will show them all its benefits.
Peace can mean a lot of things for a lot of folks: Peace and quiet, peace like a river, a peaceful easy feeling, give peace a chance or some other meaning. However, here in John’s gospel we begin to learn what the peace of Jesus truly means for our lives. We discover Jesus teaching his disciples about this peace.
Jesus gives us his peace! 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. We must remember that Jesus lived during a time when the Hebrew people were under the boot of the Roman government. They had not known a time of physical peace for centuries. They wanted physical peace so much that during Jesus’ day the way the Jews would greet one another was by saying, “Shalom.” It means “peace.” Just as we face wars and rumors of wars, strife, poverty, and diseases, they faced all these things as well.
But there is something else in this scripture and is that Jesus’ coming again gives us peace (Vv. 28-29). You heard me say, “I am going away, and I am coming back to you.” If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I wonder how many Christians have really come to understand the great fact that peace is our inheritance. Peace is what Jesus has left us. It is fundamental and cannot be taken away from us by any circumstance. That is what He means by, I do not give to you as the world gives.
But Jesus says, I give peace right in the midst of trouble, right in the midst of distress and turmoil and heartache and pressure. I can impart peace to your heart right there, and not as the world gives. Why? Because we can return to that basic relationship we have--You in Me, and I in you. Out of that comes the guarantee that He is working out His purposes. That is peace.
In this biblical narrative what we must do is to be clear of what John is speaking to us about that inner peace that the presence of Jesus produces in our lives. Hence, Jesus says that his peace is not like the peace that the world offers. Of course, at no time is Jesus dismissing the need for external peace, but rather setting priorities. Let's start with having inner peace and from there we look for outer peace. In this search for external peace, we must be clear that if we want peace, we must definitely fight for justice in all its dimensions.
We will fight until we achieve inner peace and outer peace with justice, to achieve happiness, here and now. Let's meditate today on Psalm 34: 14 and in our discipleship let us make this words our own: Get away from evil and do good, seek peace and follow it.
Fr. Luis +