Jesus said, in today’s Gospel, “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.” In his farewell discourse Jesus grants peace as his gift to his disciples. What kind of peace does he offer? What do we understand when we speak about peace? In international terms peace is the absence of war. Peace can be achieved by rules and regulation and with proper borders. The peace of Christ is more than the absence of trouble. It includes everything which makes for our highest good. The world’s approach to peace is avoidance of trouble and a refusal to face unpleasant things. Jesus offers the peace which conquers our fears and anxieties. Nothing can take us from the peace and joy of Jesus Christ. No sorrow or grief, no danger, no suffering can make it less. Through the gift and work of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, the Lord Jesus shows us how to yield our passions of anger, fear, and pride to him so we can receive his gift of peace.
I would like to share with you a part of a homily on peace of Caesarius of Arles (470-542 AD), an early church bishop. “Peace, indeed, is serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, simplicity of heart, the bond of love, the fellowship of charity. It removes hatred, settles wars, restrains wrath, tramples on pride, loves the humble, pacifies the discordant and makes enemies agree. For it is pleasing to everyone. It does not seek what belongs to another or consider anything as its own. It teaches people to love because it does not know how to get angry, or to extol itself or become inflated with pride. It is meek and humble to everyone, possessing rest and tranquility within itself. When the peace of Christ is exercised by a Christian, it is brought to perfection by Christ. If anyone loves it, he will be an heir of God, while anyone who despises it rebels against Christ. When our Lord Jesus Christ was returning to the Father, he left his peace to his followers as their inherited good, teaching them and saying, ‘My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you.’
Anyone who has received this peace should keep it, and one who has destroyed it should look for it, while anyone who has lost it should seek it. For if anyone is not found with it, he will be disinherited by the Father and deprived of his inheritance.” Jesus called Satan the “ruler of this world” (John 14:30) who seeks to rob people of peace and friendship with God. Jesus defeated the evil one through his death and resurrection and won pardon and peace for all who believe in him. The victory of the cross brought glory to Jesus and to the Father and it is our way to glory with the Father in heaven as well. In the Cross of Christ we find true peace and reconciliation with God our Father. Do you live in the peace of Jesus Christ? Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may your peace be always with me. May no troubling thought, trial or affliction rob me of the peace which passes all understanding. You, alone, O Lord, are my Peace.
May I always reside in that peace by believing in your word and by doing your will. Amen.
God Bless You,