Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
We do not find many complaints in the New Testament about how bad the government was at the time, nor do we find programs for social or political reform. Is that because the culture, at that time, was beyond reproach? Far from it. In fact, in today’s reading from John, we read about a government which, colluding with special interests, is about to execute the most innocent man that ever lived. It will be the single worst act of any government in all of history! And yet, what our Lord is teaching his disciples is not that they needed to demand social or political change. This is not our teacher’s message. His message is this: “do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” In other words, the fact that the government and the society at large are doing bad stuff must not trouble you. Why not? Because “peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” It’s strange, isn’t it? Jesus, who knows he is about to be violently killed, imparts peace to his followers. His message is not: “we have to fight this.” His message is peace. “Not as the world gives,” he says, “do I give [my peace] to you.”
What is this peace? It is the peace of the chick gathered under the wings of the mother hen. It is the peace of the lost sheep that has been found, and taken up into the arms of the good shepherd. It is the peace of the soul being restored to friendship with its Creator. May we rest in that peace forever.