A reading from the holy 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 to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me to say, 'I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, 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 go hence." (John 14:27-31)
Our Lord is preparing his disciples for his impending departure. This is his farewell discourse.
His departure gift to them is PEACE. Normally, when a visitor leaves, a gift is given to the hostess and friends in thanksgiving for the time spent/hospitality shown toward the guest. Was this what the Lord was talking about--leaving a gift so as not to be forgotten? Did the apostles know or comprehend what Jesus was talking about? Do we embrace this peace?
Certainly, when someone you love is getting ready to leave, you anticipate the vacancy, the void of perhaps not seeing them for awhile or maybe never again physically holding their hand or feeling their hand on your brow or having morning coffee or laughing in the wee hours of the night or the fish fries, or the fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Is this what the disciples were hearing--that the peace of Jesus would take care of all these things that they would no longer be doing together? Is this the peace we are expecting?
This Peace, which took the place of their world, as they knew it, was a peace that surpassed all understanding. It was a peace that did not take away their troubles. They would still have unpleasantries, they would still suffer, they would still cry with a loved one who had mental illness or had a terminal illness. The peace that the dear Lord left was the peace that conquers all fears and anxieties. Nothing could take from them the peace and joy of Jesus Christ nor could any sorrow or grief or danger or suffering make his peace and joy any less.
This is the same peace that Jesus Christ offers us. Thru the gift of the Holy Spirit , who dwells in us, the Lord Jesus shows us how to yield our passion for pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth to the virtues of the Holy Spirit of humility, generosity, discipline, chastity, patience, charity and diligence.
God has conquered death. We thank you, Lord, for the peace you give us.