Easter 6 C
May 19, 2019 by
David Jackson in
Reflections on Sunday Gospels
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.
We may not identify with any of these sources of a lack of peace. But we may still feel some peace is missing in our lives. Peace is not just the absence of war, peace is not just the lack of dissension and disagreement. THE PEACE OF CHRIST is something more and something that the world cannot give. The peace of Christ includes God coming to us and making a dwelling place with us. We are to know then, the presence of God in our lives. Jesus returned to the Father (we will celebrate this in a special way on Ascension Thursday), but Jesus returned in order to send us the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit (we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday). We are to know in our lives the presence of God. The Spirit of God which is the Holy Spirit is to instruct us in everything and remind us of all that Jesus told us.
Do you ever know this experience in your life? Do you sometimes feel that God’s Holy Spirit is instructing you in something? Do you ever feel that this Holy Spirit is reminding you of something that Jesus told us? We must listen to the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are not to be distressed or fearful. It seems that so many people, especially parents, are exceedingly fearful today. We must enter the promise that Jesus wants us to know his peace, his salvation, His Spirit. Let us open our hearts to receive this Spirit, this gift of peace. When we exchange the sign of peace we must remind ourselves, “peace is a gift and a task”. We must accept the gift from God but activate ourselves to the task.