TUESDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
Reading 1: Acts 14: 19-28 despite persecution Paul continues to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.
Gospel: Jn 14: 27-31 Jesus promises peace to his disciples and reiterates his own total obedience to the Father’s will.
HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE
The life of St. Paul never ceases to inspire, especially his perseverance and zeal in proclaiming the good news. Although he had to suffer much for the sake of the Gospel (cf. 2 Cor 11:23-28) he never became discouraged. His fervour and love for Christ grew stronger each day. What kept him going during his most difficult times? His experience of the kingdom of God. What is this experience like? Paul explains that the kingdom of God consists in experiencing the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 14:17). No matter what trouble or suffering one undergoes, if rooted in the kingdom of God, nothing will be able to take away his inner peace and joy.
In the Gospel, we hear Jesus giving his disciples the gift of peace. He tells them not to allow their hearts to be troubled. He assures them that there is nothing to be afraid of. The same gift of peace Jesus gives us today. The peace of Christ truly surpasses all understanding (cf. Phil 4:7). If the peace of Christ dwells in our hearts, we will perceive the mundane things of everyday life in a new light.
The letter to the Hebrews speaks about reaping a harvest of righteousness and peace (cf. Heb 12:11) because from this peace flows patience, endurance, strength, love, joy and righteousness. The things that once made us angry will no longer disturb us. We will experience tender compassion for the very persons who made us impatient. The sufferings that we dreaded will no longer frighten us. We will realize along with Paul that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (cf. Rom 8:35-39).
To experience this inner peace and serenity we need to spend some time each day in silent prayer and in reading the word of God. In addition to this, all we have to do is surrender ourselves completely to Jesus with faith and confidence.
Resp. Psalm: Ps 144: 10-13, 21 Your friends make known O Lord, the glory of your reign.
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