Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

(Acts 14:19-28; John 14:27-31a)

Perhaps the peace proclaimed by English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich in 1938 is representative of what the gospel calls “the kind of peace the world gives.”  He had just bartered with Hitler part of the Czechoslovakia for what he hoped would be a stabilized Europe.  Hitler was not appeased, however, and within a year Europe was engaged in history’s deadliest war.  Surely Jesus’ peace is different.

The peace which Jesus presents in this final supper with his disciples is fully realized only after his resurrection from the dead. On that evening he appears to disciples with "peace" on his lips. Then he breathes on them the Holy Spirit who fills them with eternal life.

If this same peace is given to us with the Spirit’s conferral in the sacraments, why do we not always feel it? We need not doubt its presence but should understand that our capacity to embrace it has been compromised by mental, psychological and even physical factors. We worry about what others think; we cannot remember what our spouse gave us for Christmas, let alone God’s many gifts; and our suffering blinds us to the blessings that surround us.  By meditating over God’s goodness a few minutes every day, we can allow Jesus’ peace to fill our hearts.