SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(White) Cycle C/Year II (May 1, 2016)
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29/Rv 21:10-14, 22-23/Jn 14:23-29
Three weeks ago, 18 soldiers and 5 fighters were killed in a clash between Armed Forces of the Philippines and Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan. These conflicts between the militaries and the rebels are a common phenomenon in the southern part of the Philippines. Consequently, there is no peace in the said region and the economic development has become stagnant. This kind of situation is not unique in the country. Other countries also have this kind of problem, particularly Spain, France and Great Britain. Still others are in conflict with one another especially countries in the Middle East. With these wars, there is no peace. The longing of everyone is to have peace so that one can live a life with freedom and happiness. Moreover, with peace in the country, economic development can be ascertained. For this reason, we all want peace and we pray and do what we can to acquire such peace.
In the gospel, Jesus Christ is offering peace. The peace that He gives is not the ordinary peace that we know and desire. It is a peace that comes from God; it is a divine peace. This peace is not external such as the absence of wars or military conflicts. It is internal, which is the absence of conflict within our heart and soul. It is a peace that can be acquired when we reject and leave sins behind and we establish a harmonious relationship of love with God.
Before Jesus offers His life for the sake and the salvation of the humanity, He leaves His disciples with peace. It is a peace that the world cannot give and cannot get. This peace is the peace of conquest. No experience of life can ever take it from us and no sorrow, no danger, no suffering can ever make it less. It is independent of outward circumstances. We may have external conflicts in our work, our home, and even in our country, but if we have this peace of Christ, we live with tranquility and inner joy.
The good news is that this peace is the first gift of the risen Lord to all of us His disciples. After Jesus resurrected from the dead, He showed Himself to His apostles who were gathered in a closed room to pray. Then He entered and greeted them with peace saying: Peace be with you. This peace is essentially connected with Jesus. If we want to acquire such peace, we need to unite ourselves with Jesus. And for this, we have to submit our heart, will, mind and whole self to the Lord, making Him the director of our lives. By prioritizing His will over our will, His plan over our plans and His teachings over our personal convictions, we make Him our King and Lord. One with Jesus, there is an inner peace in our lives that conquers everything, fear, anxiety, hatred, jealousy, sin, vice, immorality, etc.
As we continue celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, let us constantly desire and receive the peace that the risen Lord is offering us. Let us never replace this peace with other kinds of peace that the world offers us. It is the only peace that can be the source of external peace. It is the only peace that can grant inner joy and satisfaction to everyone.