From the Gospel reading we know that not all experiences of peace are the same. There is the peace that the world gives, and the peace that only Jesus can give.
From a worldly perspective, peace is the absence of conflict. Where there is no conflict, there is no
suffering. And yet the lives of the saints tell about the presence of peace amidst sufferings. They had peace because they found rest in Jesus—the source of supernatural peace.
The disciples’ troubles and fear rob them of peace. In their anticipation of Jesus’ departure, they fail to enjoy his presence in their midst. Their troubles emanate from the absence of the Master they already perceive.
Jesus has to call their attention back to the reality of his departure from them. It is only temporary, for he will come for them again. To hold on to Jesus, to dwell in his love, and to keep his teachings, is to keep that peace that nothing in this world can give. It is the peace of Jesus. Where do you find your peace?
FIRST READING • Acts 14:19-28
In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Then they spent no little time with the disciples.
GOSPEL • John 14:27-31a
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.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.