Gospel Acclamation: John 10:23
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
The Gospel this Sunday comes from John—more specifically it is from the Last Supper. Even though we are nearing the end of the Easter season we are brought back to an event happening in Lent. It is here that we hear words of wisdom from Jesus. This is also a point of foreshadowing for what is to come in two short weeks—Pentecost—as Jesus tells the disciples that the Father will send the Holy Spirit as an advocate in the name of Jesus. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to teach the disciples and to remind them of Christs message; simply put, to become an advocate of Christ. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A GIFT FROM THE FATHER! This gift was something meant for all Christians through all generations.
There are other gifts given to us—like that of Peace. Though we are reminded that it is Christ that gives us Peace and not the world. The Peace that Christ gives us is something that completes us wholly in our interior. We should be at peace internally. We should let go of anger, aggression, anxiety, the pursuit of ill-gotten gain. By creating a sense of Peace, we are able to fully live in harmony with Christ.
KEY PHRASE: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.
Jesus knows that the disciples and all Christians are soon face turmoil. Christ is able to offer them Peace as one final gift in His human form. When Christ rises, and sees the disciples huddled in the Upper Room, He again reminds them that Peace should be with them. He reminds them: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Christ NEVER tires of offering this offering of Peace.
Christ always wants Peace to be with us. When we are faced with rules and decrees, or anything that places burdens upon others, we need to take a moment to reflect back to see if it is truly the will of Jesus that wishes to burden His people—or if he wishes for peace. This can be found in the reading today from Acts of the Apostles. The early church is struggling with the process of how to allow Gentiles to join the Church. Paul and Barnabas head to Jerusalem to discuss with the Apostles to see if circumcision should be required for Gentile Christians. It is through the prayer and discernment of Peter and James with the Holy Spirit that they rule in favor of not requiring circumcision for Gentile Christians and write a letter to the Gentile churches explaining that they do this to place the Gentiles with a Peace of Mind and clarify that they do not wish to place undue burden upon them.
PSALM: May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you!
We see this spread all throughout the messages today. In the readings, today we see the Gentiles receive the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection and are brought into the early Church with their Jewish brothers and sisters. Then we are given a vision of the Holy City [Jerusalem], becoming a beacon for the world and all nations to “walk by its light”, and to be shared to all peoples.
Can we find how we experience the Peace of Christ in our daily lives? How can we take God’s direction to Be Not Afraid, and not allow our hearts to become filled with fear and troubled? And how can we bring the Lord’s light into our life and allow it to shine within us?
O Heavenly Prince of Peace, PRAY FOR US!
Deus lo Vult!