In today’s Gospel Our Lord promises to give us peace, but not as the world gives it. Peace as the world understands it can mean so many things: financial security, quality time with family and friends, good health, a lack of worries, domestic tranquility (either as a family or as a nation), a sense of fulfillment in your career, etc. The difference between these kinds of peace and the peace Jesus offers us is that all these things, even if they might last a long time, won’t last forever. Easter time is a time for thinking of eternal life and eternal peace. The peace we experience in this life is often just a glimpse of the true peace that is to come.
The peace Jesus promises today is not just a future peace: Paul in the First Reading was attacked and left for dead, and if a movie was written about such drama today, it’d probably show Paul in the aftermath as traumatized, disillusioned, bitter, or seeking revenge. The First Reading shows something different: Paul gets up, moves on, and keeps working and encouraging others. That is the peace of soul we as Christians strive for: it continues to fill us even when we are persecuted, sick, poor, or reviled. It’s a peace that is willing to sacrifice everything to show that God loves us and has a purpose for us, therefore all the trials and tribulations of this life in the end will seem like so many small inconveniences that are forgotten in the light of the more fulfilling and meaningful things of life that follow.
If we are facing trials today: poverty, illness, a difficult family situation, persecution for being a good person or being Christian, let’s ask Our Lord to help us draw from the deeper well of his peace not only to help us keep moving forward, but to be a source of true peace in others’ lives as well.
Readings: Acts 14:19–28; Psalm 145:10–13b, 21; John 14:27–31a.