I fear at times that I have forgotten what life feels like without some kind of turbulence. Perhaps you can relate. Papers and reports due. Meetings to attend. Bills to pay. Stress at work and ministry. Sick friends and family members. Tension within relationships. Feelings of inadequacy. It seems that, despite our best efforts, our hearts are often troubled and afraid.
And yet, in today’s Gospel, Christ calls us out of darkness and fear through his gift of peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” With this gifted peace, people have accomplished great things. At the beginning of the manifestation of Christ’s peace, the early disciples persevered despite tremendous hardship and spread the message of Gospel love. More recently, Pope Francis has proclaimed, “We want a peaceful world! We want to be people of peace!”
What troubles you? What leaves you feeling incomplete and afraid? Let us remember that in Christ, it does not have to be this way. Let us remember that the peace we seek has already been given, and that it will set us alight in the face of all our troubles and fears.
Jesus–guide our feet into the way of peace.
—Eric Immel, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.