Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I fear at times that I have forgotten what life feels like without some kind of turbulence. Perhaps you can relate. Papers and reports due. Meetings to attend. Bills to pay. Stress at work and ministry. Sick friends and family members. Tension within relationships. Feelings of inadequacy. It seems that, despite our best efforts, our hearts are often troubled and afraid.
And yet, in today’s Gospel, Christ calls us out of darkness and fear through his gift of peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” With this gifted peace, people have accomplished great things. At the beginning of the manifestation of Christ’s peace, the early disciples persevered despite tremendous hardship and spread the message of Gospel love. More recently, Pope Francis has proclaimed, “We want a peaceful world! We want to be people of peace!”
What troubles you? What leaves you feeling incomplete and afraid? Let us remember that in Christ, it does not have to be this way. Let us remember that the peace we seek has already been given, and that it will set us alight in the face of all our troubles and fears.
Jesus–guide our feet into the way of peace.
—Eric Immel, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.