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Acts 14:19-28
Psalm 145:10-11,12-13ab,21
John 14:27-31a
Wishing a person peace was, and still is, the usual form of
greeting among Jews and Arabs. It is the greeting Jesus
used, and which the Apostles continued to use, as we can see
from their letters (cf. 3 John 15, Romans 1:7 etc). The Church
still uses it in the liturgy; for example, before Communion the
celebrant wishes those present peace, a condition of worthily
sharing in the holy sacrifice and also a fruit of sacrifice. But
the peace from Jesus is one of the great messianic gifts. The peace which Jesus gives
us completely transcends the peace of the world, which can be superficial and mislead-
ing and compatible with injustice. The peace of Christ is, above all, reconciliation with
God and reconciliation of men with one another; it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
It is “serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, simplicity of heart, a bond of love, a union of
charity; no one can inherit God if he does not keep his testament of peace, or live in
unity with Christ if he is separated from Christianity (St Augustine)”.
When Jesus says that the Father is greater than He, He is thinking about His human na-
ture; as man Jesus is going to be glorified, ascending as He does to the right hand of
the Father. Jesus Christ “is equal to the Father in his dignity, less than the Father in His
humanity”. Although the Father and the Son are equal in nature, eternity and dignity,
only the Father is “beginning without beginning”, whereas the Son proceeds eternally
from the Father by way of a generation which is also eternal. Jesus Christ is God from
God, Light from Light, True God from True God (cf. Nicene Creed).
Clearly the world is good, for it has been created by God, and God loved it so much
that He sent his Only-begotten Son. However, in this gospel passage “world” means all
those who reject Christ and the “ruler of the world” is the devil (cf. John 7:7, 15:18-19).
The devil opposed the work of Jesus right from the start of His public life when he
tempted Him in the desert. Now in the passion, he will apparently overcome Christ.
This is the hour of the power of darkness when, availing of Judas’ treachery, the devil
manages to have our Lord arrested and crucified.
Do you know the peace which passes all understanding? In his farewell
discourse Jesus grants
as his gifts to his disciples. What kind of peace does he
offer? The
peace of Christ
is more than the absence of trouble. It includes everything