Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
(Acts 14:19-28; John 14:27-31a)
Sometimes parishes celebrate the paying off of their mortgage with a social. Parishioners feel relieved not to have to channel their efforts to raising money. Now they can concentrate on the more fundamental tasks of evangelization and caring for the community. Relief from debt indicates why Jesus can say in today’s gospel that his peace is different from the world’s.
Jesus’ peace is the conferral of the Holy Spirit on his disciples. It comes with his appearance on the night of his resurrection. He announces peace, breathes on them, and sends them forth with the Holy Spirit to forgive sins. They and those to whom they in turn announce “peace” can live without worry that past sins -- or debts -- will overwhelm them. The world’s peace is temporary – a mere respite from the continual battle to keep ahead of creditors.
Too often we worry about what others think of us. Such fret wastes our energy. Ever more reassuring is seeking the peace Jesus bestows by examining our consciences, confessing our sins, and trusting in his mercy.