Ps 145:10-13ab, 21
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”
Good News Reflection:
Imagine what it would be like if Jesus were to visit you in person — visibly and audibly. He sits you down next to him, holds your hands in his, and tenderly tells you that you’re about to die. He says that soon he will take you home to live with him forever in heaven.
And further imagine that he smiles at you and then says that before you go, you can give a gift to the people you’re leaving behind on earth — any gift at all, no matter what the cost or how impossible it might seem. It’ll be your last will and testament. What gift would you choose?
Let’s say that you want to give a healing to Uncle Joe, money to pay off the debts of your unemployed friends, and a soul-mate for your single co-worker. But Jesus explains that it must be one and the same gift that you give to each person, a gift directly from you, representing who you are. This gift is the legacy that you will leave behind. They’ll mention it at your funeral and joyfully discover that they all received the same wonderful gift from you. It will comfort them in their sorrow.
The legacy that Jesus left behind — his gift to us, which he explained in today’s Gospel reading — is peace. True and lasting peace. A peace that calms troubled hearts. A peace that drives away our fears. A peace that is heaven on earth.
If we accept this gift of peace, we have to trust God no matter what’s going on around us. We cannot trust our own interpretation of what’s best for us and how our problems should be solved. We have to trust in God’s wisdom and limitless compassion. If we take our eyes off of Jesus, we turn away from this gift. Remaining in constant communication with him will keep us securely in his peaceful embrace.
Fear tells us not to trust God, which steals our peace by replacing it with troubled hearts. Fear always lies to us. Remember it this way: F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real. To regain the peace that Jesus has given you, first identify the falsehoods that your fears are speaking. Then ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what the truth about it is. Listen carefully. If you need help discerning God’s voice, talk to a spiritual director or a prayerful Christian friend. Once the truth becomes audible, trust it and act upon it before fear gets a chance to speak up again!
What gift do you want most from Jesus today? If you have his peace, everything else you want will either follow automatically, in God’s perfect timing, or they will no longer matter.
Re-read this Gospel passage and put your own name into it. “My peace I give to you, .” Interpret these verses as a personal testament of love from Jesus to you. Receive the gift he has bequeathed to you!
Lord, Your peace surpasses all peace the world can give me. It transcends all injustice and all pain I may suffer. Do not let me stop seeking peace in You. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica