Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid
5th Week of Easter (A) : Tuesday 9th May 2023
Acts 14:19-28; Ps. 144:10-11,12-13,21
Jn. 14:27-31a (Ps. Wk. I)
One of the most used slogans of the US anti-war movements in the 60s was ‘Give peace a chance.’ In an age beset by an extraordinary amount of conflict, tension and physical violence, peace is understood to be the absence of war and its consequences. However, rather than this transient worldly peace, Jesus offers us His spiritual peace that does not depend on man’s machinations. It is not a peace that is something outside of ourselves or external to us, like getting away from it all by taking a holiday or changing jobs or circumstances when we are unhappy. It is an interior peace, the peace residing in our hearts.
St. Augustine has a beautiful description of this peace: we allow Jesus to take control of our thoughts, fears and worries; we are contented with what we have and have received as gifts from God, and we are fully reconciled with God and others. As we grow in union with Christ and conform ourselves to the will of the Father by directing and ordering our lives to Him, we find ourselves graced with a serenity of mind, a simplicity of heart and a tranquillity of soul. It is a peace rooted in the Cross that supports us and enables us to overcome life’s many daily tribulations; one that fortified St Paul in his evangelising missions despite the many hardships he faced, and one nurtured ‘with prayer and fasting’ (Acts:14: 21-23). No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace!
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.’ Lord, help me to correctly understand, seek and find this peace gifted to us through the Holy Spirit.