“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee. ― St Augustine of Hippo: (354 –430: excerpt from his book Confessions)
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."
Is peace a daily goal that I focus on? What form do I expect peace to take? All of us would like to have peace in our lives, but maybe we think of peace merely as a “bonus” that God might give us if we live right. However, Jesus proclaims today that peace is at the very heart of what it means to be His disciple. We should fix our attention on this peace, then, and cultivate our lives so as to accept this gift from Jesus.
First, what is Jesus’ peace? Second, what do we need to do to cultivate our lives so as to accept it?
What is Jesus’ peace? Jesus clarifies what it is not: “not as the world gives do I give it to you.” The peace that the world seeks is fleeting and based on compromise. The peace of Jesus, on the contrary, does not need to engage in compromise because it consists in what is truly best for each and all. As such, it is abiding.
Is this sort of peace even possible in the world here below? It is possible to fix our lives on this gift from Jesus, and abide in it throughout our lives. However, to do so takes a lot of cultivation of our souls, so that formed by the natural and supernatural virtues of the spiritual life, we can be persons in whom God’s grace can take root and flower abundantly.