Peace be with you
“Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,” says the Lord in this Sunday’s Gospel.
We often think of peace as the opposite of war, and yet peace is so much more than the absence of conflict. There could be a war going on right now, but if we have faith in Jesus, it is still possible to have peace. The peace I am talking about is peace within ourselves, the sort of peace that is independent of what goes on around us. It is the sort of peace that the world cannot give and one that we can only attain if we surrender everything to God.
Christ asks us not to be afraid and he reassures us that the Father will send us a companion, the Holy Spirit, to quell our fears as we continue our journey in a world that is often besieged with conflicts. The presence of the Holy Spirit among us does not mean there can never be disagreements between us. After all, it is through disagreements that the Church developed over the centuries, as the First Reading illustrates. What is important to realise is that it is possible to disagree and still love each other enough to try to listen and understand.
The challenge is to resist telling others that we have everything worked out and that their role is simply to follow our way of doing things. Arrogance often makes us forget that God’s Spirit can work in amazing and unexpected ways in others as well as in us.
Don’t let it.