Daily Reflection – 5/21/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “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 afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”( John 14: 27-31a)
Does it surprise you that in his final hours, Jesus think of his disciples and all that follow after his disciples? He reminds them of his gift. The Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor, will bring us peace. This peace is not an absence of difficulties, an end to all strife, or the cessation of all disagreements. Look around the world today and you see the reality of anger, bitterness, divisiveness, of the “we” vs the “them.” That hasn’t disappeared.
But the gift of God’s presence, the gift of Jesus’ guidance, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit mean that we can have peace in our storms, struggles, and fallen world. God is present within us to guide, strengthen, comfort, lead, inspire, motivate, bless, and … We are never alone as we face every challenge of life because God is not only with us, but he is within us!
Jesus’ return to heaven is not a loss of peace or his abandonment of us. It is his going away so that he can send us the gift of the Holy Spirit, who brings us God’s peace.
It is the peace which conquers our fears and anxieties. Nothing can take us from the peace and joy of Jesus Christ. No sorrow or grief, no danger, no suffering can make it less. Jesus also speaks of his destination and ultimate triumph over the powers of evil in the world. In the eyes of the world the cross stood for shame, humiliation, and defeat. Jesus went to the cross knowing that it would lead to victory over the powers of sin and of Satan. Jesus also knew that he would return to his Father in glory. The cross brought glory to Jesus and to the Father and it is our our way to glory as well. In the Cross of Christ, we find true peace and reconciliation with God.
To know that peace is to carry the cross in our heart and let the blood shed for you and me wash away all that carries us away from that cross.
Let each of us live in the peace of Christ.
Prayer of The Day
Holy God, give me a deeper appreciation of your abiding presence within me. Lead me by your Spirit to know you more completely. Inspire me by your Spirit to do your work more joyously. Enlighten me by your Spirit to make better decisions each day. Thank you, Jesus, for sending the Holy Spirit to me as your gift of grace, presence, and peace. I pray in your name, dear Savior. Amen.
In the greater scheme of things, his disciples did learn to rejoice and to carry that joy in their hearts, right up to the point of giving their lives for Him. His ascent home meant He realized His union with the Father and, implicitly, his followers would realize their union with God. Despite the activity of the Evil One, Jesus would reveal his love for the Father and his mission on behalf of the Father to the world, by dying on the cross.
When you look upon a crucifix, do you see Jesus fulfilling God’s will? Do you see his unity with the Father?