May the grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you! During a time of difficulty and uncertainty for any community, whether on a local, national or global scale, each person is affected in a different way. The spectrum of reactions can range from feelings of fear or extreme anxiety, to bewilderment and anger.
You might like to pause for a moment….. Are you able to feel the feelings you have? ….. How do YOU feel about the situation developing around you? ….Try to recognise the dominant feeling that might be rising to the surface…
When Jesus was at the Last Supper with his disciples, incredible as it may seem, he wanted to give them a gift and that gift was peace! Just listen to these words from St John’s Gospel as Jesus says to his disciples:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
What is so amazing about this is the fact that Jesus was about to be arrested, condemned to death and to die, and yet he gives the gift of peace! How can the disciples not be troubled, not be afraid when facing up to the death of their friend and master? Jesus had a steady confidence. His confidence was in the Father who was in charge and just as once the Father had delivered his chosen people from slavery in Egypt and given them new life in the promised land, so too he would deliver Jesus from death and bring him to new life. Jesus invites his disciples to share in his steady confidence and there to find peace. The Father was in charge and they need not be troubled or afraid.
After the resurrection, the disciples became men and women of steady confidence. Just as God had delivered Jesus from death and given him new life, so God would deliver them too. The disciples invite us to share in their confidence and there to find peace. In the prophet Isaiah we find these words:
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever will be, world without end. Amen.