May 16, 2017
Today’s gospel: John 14:27-31
The world is troubled and desperately searches for peace. But to the world, peace is just the absence of war or conflict. This is not the peace of Christ, which is shalom. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” (v.27). In Jesus, peace is being in right relationship with each other, relating to each other in fraternal love, with dignity and respect, deferring to the needs and well-being of the other.
In the world, to escape one’s troubles, one goes into drugs, or to aborting an unwanted baby, or to giving bribes, or to destroying one’s enemy. This does not bring true peace, which can only be found in Christ. “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (v.27b). Jesus keeps telling us, be not afraid. But there is so much to be afraid of in this world. So this can only happen as we fully trust in Jesus and cling to him.
The whole world is under the dominion of the evil one. A tsunami of evil is upon us. Today’s secular culture, especially in the western world, looks at good as bad and on bad as good. Values have been turned totally topsy-turvy. What is the way out? It is only through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. The devil is the strong man but Jesus is the stronger man. Jesus himself says, “the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me” (v.30b). In fact, Jesus already crushed the head of the serpent at Calvary, with his death and resurrection.
How can the world know Jesus? How can the world attain true peace? How can the world overcome its troubles and fears? It is when we proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus, leading people to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. This is the work of evangelization. This is why the Father sent His Son into the world. This is why Jesus went to the cross. Indeed Jesus himself says, “the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.” (v.31a). Jesus has done his part.
Now we need to do ours. Before Jesus finally ascended into heaven, he commanded his disciples (that’s us) to go and proclaim the good news to the ends of the earth. He commanded us to make disciples of all the nations. Our Church is a missionary Church.
So what are you waiting for? “Get up, let us go.” (v.31b).
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God bless you.