Peace! Peace! And there is no peace.
In today’s Gospel we heard Jesus say to his disciples: “Peace is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the World gives peace.” We too are disciples of Jesus and these words are addressed to us as well. We are to know the peace of Christ.
As we look at our World today we can see many examples where there is no peace. But if we look into our own lives we often times find that we don’t have peace.
In the first reading we heard about people coming to a community and their teaching disturbed the people. This is happening today as well. It may be the knock on our door, it may be something that we see on TV, or hear on the radio, it may be something that someone says to us. The first reading speaks of “no little dissension and debate.” Other translations say, “they led to disagreement and long argument,” “they got into a fierce argument”. These are ways to speak of a lack of peace. In our lives too, dissension, controversy, disagreement, long and fierce arguments disturb the peace.
But as the scriptures hold some words about the lack of peace, they also give us some direction about how to go about finding or making peace. Once the problem was identified we notice that the people in the Acts of the Apostles do something about it. They seek help. They send representatives to see the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem. From the apostles and elders in agreement with the whole church they receive a letter which gives them advise and teaching.
In our lack of peace we must first identify the problem. Secondly we need to seek a solution. This may mean seeking help from the apostles and elders in our midst. The apostle or elder might be a holy and wise member of our family, might be a respected teacher, might be a holy priest or sister. But what is important is that we seek help.