5TH WEEK OF EASTER
My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
In the ancient world, strict traditions governed inheritance law and the continuation of a father’s estate. Normally, the eldest son received two shares of the estate, while the others received one share each (Deuteronomy 21:17). This resulted in many regulations, as well as many feuds within families, with some lasting for generations.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus stands in stark contrast to these customs. He is God’s firstborn Son, yet rather than clinging to his inheritance, Jesus shares all of it with us! He could have followed the customs of his people, but Jesus doesn’t give and receive as the world does. In his generosity, he invites us to become full and equal heirs of the riches of his Father’s grace. He asks only for our love and heartfelt effort to obey him. In exchange, he promises us our very own place in his Father’s house, he empowers us to do greater works than he did, and he guarantees that his Spirit will dwell in us (John 14:2, 12, 17).
As if these gifts aren’t enough, he promises his followers a final blessing: his peace. This is not just any peace; Jesus says, “My peace I give” (John 14:27, emphasis added). The peace of Jesus—the peace that surpasses understanding, the peace that remains constant even in suffering, the peace that cannot be stolen or shaken—this is the peace he freely gives to us! In a world full of uncertainty and conflict, there is no greater gift than the peace of Christ.
Jesus doesn’t just give us this peace; he also shows us how to keep it. Throughout the Gospels, we see him retreating from the commotion of life to pray. And he calls us to do the same. It’s a simple step, but it’s not always easy to do. In prayer we can dip back into the treasure chest of our inheritance and find even more riches. We can hold onto the peace of Jesus as we take the time to be still and rest in the arms of our Father. We can strengthen our peace as we listen for his voice telling us, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.”
Always remember that in Christ, all the blessings of heaven have been secured for you, now and forever.
“Jesus, thank you for the gift of your peace.”
Psalm 145:10-13, 21