The Gospel according to John (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.”
The part of today’s Gospel that I’d like to focus on for a minute is the first words that we hear from Jesus: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” It set me to thinking what do we mean when we say that we need “peace and quiet” to solve some problem, or figure something out in our lives? What did Jesus mean when He said that He was giving the Apostles “peace”?
It made me think of a Star Trek novel I read when I was in college. One of the characters, a Vulcan commander (Vulcans, if you don’t know Star Trek, are governed by logic only, not emotion). In a particular scene, Captain Kirk, the main character, is working with a group of Vulcans to try to find their missing Captain. Kirk says to the Vulcan Commander, “I only wish I could give you peace and quiet, so you could find your Captain.” The Vulcan responds, “External peace is not necessary, and the quiet we need already exists inside ourselves, so no external quiet is needed, either.” In essence, the Vulcan Commander was saying that she already had “peace”.
Today’s Gospel continues the story of the night of the Last Supper (the night before Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion). His Apostles were being told that Jesus was going to leave them, and they were understandably afraid. Jesus was reminding them, though, that His peace would be with them, and even though it did not mean that they would not feel concern or sadness or fear, it did mean that, through Jesus’ Holy Spirit that He promised, they would know that they were not alone.
That’s really the main lesson to pick up on in today’s Gospel. We are walking in Easter joy, and we have that peace that Jesus promised us that night of the Last Supper. But, we have to realize that the peace we have is inside us, not necessarily outside us. If that peace is inside, we can know for certain that the Holy Spirit is there, guiding us to love as Jesus loved. We just have to cooperate with that Holy Spirit and then, take a step in faith and live in that peace!
Action for the Day:
If you’re reading or hearing this early in the morning, take a minute now and look for that peace that Jesus promised. Sense it and let it fill you up! Then, through the day today, look for how you can be a blessing and bring that peace to someone else today.
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!