Peace and well
Gospel of saint John 14, 27-31
In the climate of Jesus’ farewell, there is a logical concern for the future. And Jesus reassures them: «I leave you peace, I give you my peace.» Of course, it is not a cheap peace, but a peace that comes from above: «I do not give it to you as the world gives it.»
There are many kinds of peace in this world. For example, the peace of false, worldly love, the peace of sex, the peace of money, the peace of power, the peace of having fame, the peace of deceiving others etc.
But today the message of Jesus is clear: «do not tremble your heart or be discouraged.» It is true that «I am going», but «I return to your side: if you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father.»
The peace and security that Jesus promises to his own derives from the intimate union that he has with the Father: he loves the Father, he fulfills what the Father has commissioned him and now he returns to the Father. From that post-Easter existence it is how he «will return» to his own and will support them and give them his peace.
We remember the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel every day at Mass, before receiving Communion: «Lord Jesus Christ, you said to the apostles: peace I leave with you, my peace I give you …» We also need this peace now . Because there can be storms and more or less serious unrest in our personal or community life. As in that of the contemporary apostles of Jesus. And the only awareness that Jesus is present in our lives can help us to regain true inner serenity.
We experience this ever-active presence of the Risen One in our lives in a privileged way in communion. That is why Jesus himself tells us that he who abides in me and I in him, that one bears much abundant fruit. But also in the other moments of our journey: «I am with you every day», «where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am», «whatever you do to one of them, you do to me ». The presence of the Lord is mysterious and can only be understood from his going to the Father, from his Easter existence as Risen: «I am leaving and I return to your side.»
Sometimes we can experience the absence of Christ more than his presence. There may be «eclipses» that leave us bewildered and filled with fear and cowardice. Just as the “hour of the prince of this world” loomed on the horizon of the Last Supper, which would lead Christ to death. But death is not the last word. That is why we are celebrating the joy of Easter. Christ also found peace and the full meaning of his life in the fulfillment of the will of his Father, even if he led him to death.
Let us listen to the serene word of the Lord: «do not tremble your heart or be dismayed.» If we are celebrating the Easter Fiftieth well, we should have already grown noticeably in the peace that the Risen One communicates to us, overcoming all confusion and fear.
Fr. Antony Majeesh George Kallely, OFM.