Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or cowardly.
John 14: 27
What type of peace do we seek?
Do we seek the peace of the cemetery – or a peace that is vibrant and living?
Do we want a peace that doesn’t upset us – or challenge us?
Do we try to attain peace by arming ourselves with weapons or securing ourselves behind impregnable walls?
Do we just want to be left alone – in peace?
What Jesus offers is a peace in the midst of conflict, in the midst of persecution, in the midst of the pain and reality of everyday life – as well as in the midst of the oppression experienced by the poor and marginalized.
A few weeks ago I was stopped on a deserted road by the police. One policeman aimed his rifle at me in the cab of my truck. After a few questions, they let me pass.
In the midst of this, I felt at peace.
That’s not because I have confidence in the police here. Just a few months before police beat up a priest in another part of the diocese. I also had been stopped earlier that day by a rather rude soldier at a checkpoint.
I still don’t know how I was able to maintain peace – even afterwards. (I even checked my blood pressure and it was not high!)
Somehow I had been gifted by the peace Jesus promises in today’s Gospel.
Let us pray that we can always be open to that peace – and respond with untroubled and brave hearts.