In today’s Gospel Jesus promises his apostles his own peace.
Paradoxically while Christ’s peace is totally incompatible with the
world’s peace, it is quite compatible with all the pain the world can
inflict on the Christian.
What kind of peace does the world give? It’s not really peace; it’s
distraction and escapism. In the pursuit and the attainment of worldly
values, material belongings, pleasure, power, we escape our
responsibilities for the pain, the evil in our world. This pseudo peace
is clearly incompatible with Christ’s values.
On the other hand, Jesus’ peace can coexist within us, at a very deep
level, in spite of the most intense pain the world can inflict on us.
When the world, through the Jewish priests and Pharisees, acted to
destroy Jesus, Jesus experienced agonizing pain, and prayed in the
Garden, “Father, take away this chalice from me,” and on the cross, “My
God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Yet beneath this physical
turmoil Jesus was at peace, for he continued his prayer in the Garden,
“Not my will, but yours be done,” and on the cross, “Into your hands I
commend my spirit.”
Perhaps we should sincerely ask the Lord Jesus to give us the courage
to abandon the pursuit of the illusory peace that the world offers.