Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, May 12
May Our Lord Calm Our Anxious Hearts and Give Us That Sense of Inner Tranquility and Calming Peace for Which We So Desperately Yearn.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” – words which speak to us about the gift of an inner stillness of heart and soul, and a serenity which alone comes from God.
Some time ago, I remember a young man telling me about difficulties he was facing at his workplace. He had, and still does have, a great love for our Lord, and what was taking place where he worked was anything but Christian love.
These were activities of malicious gossip in which other employees were involved, slandering the good names of innocent people – a mean-spirited conduct to defame and hurt others, reminding me of the old adage, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
When asked to participate in these conversations, he had told them he wanted to have no part in it. As a consequence, they began their own malicious attack against his good name in the effort of having him fired. He knew that these fellow employees, men and women, were basically decent people, as far as it goes, for they could not see the great evil they were unleashing with their own tongues.
When confronted by his employer regarding these lies perpetrated against him, he responded with an uncanny sense of wisdom and peace, as if guided by God’s Spirit, and the truth he presented undermined everything his accusers were declaring against him! In his defense, he knew that malicious gossip was contrary to the will and mind of God.
And it is this desire to do what is right and just, and the inner peace which accompanies it – which we find as the common theme in today’s Readings.
Our First Reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, continues the story of the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas, and some of the hardships which they endured, including the stoning of Paul by unbelievers who were totally unreceptive to the Christian message.
Yet, in spite of this, they continued their journey of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ declaring, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” And we are told that they completed their journey and returned to Antioch, reporting all the wonderful works God had performed for the growing Church!
And the words of today’s psalmist seem to echo the ministry to which Paul and Barnabas were called, “Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.”
In our Gospel Reading today, it is almost time for Jesus to leave for the Garden in Gethsemane where His Passion is about to begin. He knows He only has a few more minutes to encourage and strengthen the spirits of His chosen disciples.
He has already spoken to them about the promised Advocate who will teach them and remind them of everything our Lord had said to them. There is only one thing left that He can give them out of Infinite Love – His Peace. “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.”
This had to be a very confusing and disconcerting moment for His Apostles, and a very sad moment for Jesus Himself, and yet all things needed to happen just as prophesied, so that all that was written in the Scriptures would be fulfilled, for He said, “And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.” And “…the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”
Peace – an oftentimes elusive emotion for many people. Webster defines it as “a state of tranquility or quiet” and “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”
When we look at our own lives, and all the circumstances in life which impact upon us, be they family issues, financial worries, job security, personal health – and there are so many other concerns which can adversely affect our lives – we oftentimes wonder where is this peace which we so desperately need to quiet our fears, to calm our own anxieties, so that we may realize some sense of inner tranquility.
The true answer to this question lies in the words which our Lord says to both you and me in today’s Gospel – that our true peace lies in Him alone. “Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” In other words, what our Lord is telling us is that the prince of this world will NOT give us the true and lasting peace which we fervently desire and for we which we greatly yearn!
It is only when we focus our hearts on God, and live our lives as He has instructed us, that we shall be able to embrace the peace with which our Lord wishes to bless us through His Spirit of Truth and Love.
The story of this young man I related earlier is a true story. How did he find the strength to maintain his composure and not say or do anything which would have jeopardized his own job security, for he needed this work to feed his wife and children?
I am sure that his love for God was rewarded by a special gift given to him when needed the most – the peace that only our Lord can give through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to His Apostles and continues to say to each of us in today’s world, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
I believe that this is exactly what happened to this young man – and it can happen to you and me as well!
If we place our Lord and all that He has taught us first in our daily lives, if we seek to truly foster a loving relationship with Him, He WILL take care of everything else! He, and only He, can give us that sense of tranquility, that inner strength, that calming peace which we so desperately need as we continue our pilgrimage through life.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”
May our Lord calm our anxious hearts, just as He did for His disciples so long ago. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “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)
- “They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, ‘It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.’” (Acts 14:22)
- “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” (John 14:23bcd)
- “Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another.” (Romans 14:19)
- “They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.” (Titus 3:2)
- “For: ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep the tongue from evil and the lips from speaking deceit, must turn from evil and do good, seek peace and follow after it.’” (1 Peter 3:10-11; cf. Psalm 34:13-15)
- “Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
- “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:13)
Prayer for the Day
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
“Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
“Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”Serenity Prayer (Reinhold Niebuhr)