DAILY MEDITATION: “My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you”
Liturgical day: Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Gospel text (Jn 14,27-31a): Jesus said to his disciples; “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”
“My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you”
Fr. Enric CASES i Martín
Today, Jesus speaks to us indirectly of the cross: He will give us the peace, but at the cost of his painful “departure” of this world. Today, we read those words He said before the sacrifice on the Cross but that were written after his Resurrection. With his death on the Cross, He defeats both death and fear. He gives the peace “Not as the world gives” (Jn 14, 27), inasmuch as He does it by going through the most excruciating pain and humiliation: this is how He proved his merciful love for man.
As of the moment sin entered the world, suffering in our lives is unavoidable. There are times when it is a physical pain; others, it is a moral suffering; and then, there are times when it is a matter of a spiritual pain..., and we all have to die. But God in his infinite love has given us the remedy to have peace amidst the pain: He has accepted “to leave” this world with a painful “departure” surrounded by serenity.
Why did He do it in such a way? Because thus, human pain —together with Christ's suffering— becomes a sacrifice that saves us from sin. “In the Cross of Christ (...), human suffering has been redeemed” (Saint John Paul II). Jesus Christ quietly suffered to please the Heavenly Father with an act of costly obedience, through which He willingly offered Himself for our salvation.
An unknown author of the 2nd century attributes these words to Jesus: “See the spits over my face, which I received from you, to give you back the first gust of life I had blown on your face. See my cheeks, which were slapped so I could reform your deteriorated aspect according to my new image. See my back, which was lashed to remove the weight of your sins from your shoulders. See my hands, so strongly nailed to the cross for you, who, in times ago, fatally stretched out one of your hands towards the forbidden tree.”