Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
(Acts 14:19-28; John 14:27-31a)
What is this peace of Christ that is unlike any other? One biblical expert sees it as “being freed from sin and united to God." Perhaps it is the same composure that drives Paul onward to preach the Good News despite just being stoned almost to death. Paul does not harbor great resentment toward the Jews. In fact, he maintains a great love for them. He writes later, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3).
The same peace is found among the families of the twenty-one Coptic Egyptians whom ISIS martyred four years ago. The families proudly wear t-shirts with pictures of their beloved in martyrs’ array – white robes and crowns superimposed on their heads. The author of an article on the martyrs has written provocative comments about the village where sixteen of the martyrs lived. He says: “All the houses I visited shared one common feature: The household was not in mourning. Condolences and expressions of sympathy seemed out of place. They struck me as somehow elevated to another plane.”
We are not likely to feel Christ’s peace because our faith wavers. We wonder if the legacy which the apostles have handed down is true. We feel the cravings of sex and pride that our times offer. To feel that peace we must do as Jesus preached from the beginning: “’Repent and believe…’”