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May 17

FOCUS:    It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.

Reflection

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In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus’ final words of encouragement to the disciples at the Last Supper.  After promising the disciples that they will receive the Holy Spirit as their Advocate, Jesus sums up in one word what these disciples and all Christians who live according to the words and the will of the Holy Trinity will experience.  Peace.

 

As we have been hearing in our readings from the Acts of the Apostles this Easter Season, the first disciples, including Paul and Barnabas, faced much persecution as they traveled and spread the Gospel to the Jews and pagans.  Despite the danger of their mission, they continued the journey filled with an internal peace from the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus, speaking for the Father, tells the disciples and us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”  These are the words of which we should spend time in prayer and reflection. What we most long for in this busy, stress-filled, pagan world in which we live, is given to us by the Holy Trinity.  Peace.  Jesus, through His life, sacrifice, and divine Word left us the ability to experience the Peace of Christ.  We access this peace through our active faith in Him and our obedience to what He has taught us. 

 

Like the apostles, we are also commissioned by Jesus to share the Good News of Christ’s Peace with others.  But Jesus did not leave us to fend for ourselves.  He gives us “Peace” through the Holy Spirit.  We have an Advocate to guide us and to remind us how much we are loved. 

 

Like the apostles we also face persecutions, both internal and external.  External persecutions come from the sins of the pagan world around us.  Internal persecutions are the times of anxiety, depression and despair when we fail to realize that we have a loving, living God and Advocate to help us.  Jesus’ message of peace, meant for you and for me, needs to ring in our ears during the difficult times we face.  Let us invite Jesus into our minds and hearts today.  He wants us to know “the peace which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)

 

Today’s Questions for Prayer and Reflection

When did I last experience the peace of Christ in my life?  How can I access Christ’s peace in those times I need it most?