This reflection is taken directly from the Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw, Inc. It is based on the writings of the late Bishop Ken Untener. It is dedicated to SR: Being Faithful to Grace.
“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.” (John 14:27)
The word “peace” appears 86 times in the New Testament. Sometimes it refers to the absence of conflict. Most often, it is used as a greeting.
When the risen Jesus met his disciples, his first words were, “Peace be with you.” It’s the Hebrew word, Shalom. It’s the word St. Paul used to begin a letter and to end his letters.
In today’s passage, it’s more than an idle wish for his disciples. It’s a prayer for something to happen deep down inside of them.
When a storm blows up on a river, the waves are high, the water is rough on the surface, but if you dive down deep, it is still and peaceful. Despite the wind blowing upstream, down deep the current still flows as it usually flows . . . peacefully.
While I’d love to have peace on the surface of my life, nobody can give me that. There are winds that blow and storms that come up. That’s the way life is.
But I can have a deep-down peace inside my heart where I am most “me” and where I connect with God. That’s the peace Jesus wishes for his disciples and the peace he gives them through the Spirit.
That’s the peace Jesus offers me. What a gift.