The year, and the semester, is moving along very quickly, and who can keep up? It is evident on campus that students are hitting the books much more earnestly, hidden away in the libraries and study spaces trying to keep up with the assignments, due dates and looming exams. Surely, it is a welcome time to hear Jesus’ promise of peace in the Gospel on Sunday.
‘My own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.’ Jesus says. But how are we supposed to experience this peace that Jesus is talking about? Can we expect that by drawing near to the Lord, all the busy demands and complexities of life will drop away and all will be still? Is the true Christian life supposed to be like holidaying on a beach in peaceful serenity? No, not at all. Our lives keep on going, with all the busyness of study, work, relationships, commitments, sicknesses, etc. What does this peace of Christ look like in our lives?
Rather than an absence of these stresses and distractions, the peace Jesus offers can be present underneath all the goings-on of our busy lives. It is a peace that transforms situations that are overwhelming into opportunities to trust in God and learn how he is moving and leading us. A peace allows us to accept moments of challenge as seeds of growth, as we grow into disciples of our Lord. The disciples faced much persecution and distress in the early years of Christianity, but they could walk through it and follow the Lord because they had received the peace that Jesus offered. It is the peace of knowing that our true life is hidden with God and no earthly challenge can take from us the gift of life that we have in him.
Author: Fr Cam Smith, MGL