Tuesday, May 5, 2015
"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
A great means to preserve continual peace and tranquility of soul is to receive everything from the hands of God, both great and small, and in whatever way it comes.--St. Dorotheus (565 – 620: Christian monk and abbot)
Gospel Text: (JN 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.”
Jesus declares that his peace is his gift to us, so too does he claim that the ruler of the world is coming. Jesus remains optimistic. He tells his disciples to not give into the popular “doom mentality”. Specifically he says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”, even as he tells them that he is going to the Father.
The voices which perpetuated apostolic times 2000 years ago are still around for us today. As much as I’m disheartened by Christian evangelists who proclaim discipleship is a road of gold and glory, so too I’m saddened by messengers of hopelessness who regularly profess a gloomy world. In the scriptures, even amidst setbacks, our ancestors counted success in terms of God’s will. The powerful image used last weekend of Jesus being the vine and we the branches reminds us of a fundamental connection that is bigger than any storm we may encounter. Church history reveals significant growth immediately following times of persecution. Why? I suspect it is testimony to the believers who stayed focused on “the One who has overcome the world”. And thus the faith of the Church grew.
Success then for us as people of faith is not something we attain by reaching particular goals or standards. It has far more to do with trusting in the one who has grafted us onto the vine.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 6:16 AM