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TUESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

4th May 2021


PEACE, A GIFT FROM GOD


Acts 14:19-28

Psalm 145:10-13,21

John 14:27-31


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you ; not as the world gives do I give to you."


What do these words of Jesus mean? How do we understand peace?

Too often, we think of peace as simply the cessation of violence, as an agreement that ends a war, as a situation with no unpleasant noise,as a feeling of calmness and lack of worry and problems. Who would not like to be in a peaceful environment? What peace is Jesus offering his disciples? Is he offering them peace that is the absence of something negative? Why does Jesus say, " My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you."


He says so because of the deeper meaning of peace that he wants his disciples to understand as he is about to end his mission on earth; and this peace is a gift from God. The timing of this gift of peace is the night of his betrayal, the evening when he will be handed over to those who hate him and who will take him away to be executed and in that moment, he not only senses peace but gives it to others. Remember you can only give what you have.


How is Jesus able to give such a precious gift at his most vulnerable and trying moment? He is able because peace connotes a sense of contentment and fulfilment, a sense that in this moment one is basking in God's presence and that can come even amid hardship, struggle, conflict and disruption. In John 13, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples including Peter and Judas yet he knows very well that they will deny him and betray him respectively. He thereafter goes ahead to eat the Last Supper with them and tells them to love one another.This shows that Jesus is content and in harmony with what awaits him and with people who surround him. Peace here is a profound sense of seeing, understanding, and participating and accepting to be in a relationship with the one who is the source of life, that is, God. After seeing what Jesus has done, do the disciples understand? After understanding, do they participate in his life and accept it?

Paul, in the First Reading,even after undergoing severe beating for the sake of the Gospel,still is at peace with his mission. He is beaten in Lystra but he still goes to Derbe , Iconium, and Antioch, Pisidia,Pamphylia, Perga and Attalia preaching. He is participating in the mission of Jesus no matter the persecution - Romans 8:31-39.


How many people need, crave or covet this kind of peace? How often do we seek it only to find it rather elusive and illusive? How often have we accepted what the world offers as peace only to discover it was a counterfeit promise? God's peace is not something you can seek or grasp but only receive.


In Today's Gospel passage this peace is vital to the disciples who are feeling lost because their master will no longer be physically present among them. None of us knows what tomorrow holds medically, financially, mentally, career wise, family wise, spiritually or even politically and even now these aspects of life may not be in a good order for us but here we can give to God our open hearts and worries for God to impart peace.

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