1 May 2018: A Gift Forever

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Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1: Acts. 14: 19-28; Gospel: Jn. 14: 27-31a

Jesus is promising an eternal and special gift in the Gospel reading of today: Peace. Of course, gifts are not demanded but given freely to appreciate and acknowledge the presence of someone. Similarly, no one is forced to accept a gift; each one is free to accept or reject it.

Here, the Lord promises a gift. Are we ready to accept it?

The gift Jesus promises – peace – is not as the world gives, but special and peculiar. The peace Jesus promises is not the external silence, rather internal tranquility. It is not the absence of problems, but joy amidst the problems. It is not the means to experience something late, rather the end result of the commitment for the Lord.

  • A few examples would shed more light in this regard: St. Stephen was seized and was about to be stoned. All around him were furious and gnashing their teeth, but he was enjoying the beatific vision of the Saviour (Acts 7: 54-56). He enjoyed the peace of the Lord.
  • When the apostles were flogged for speaking in the name of Jesus, they rejoiced “because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5: 40,41). They enjoyed the peace of the Lord.
  • When Paul was stoned by the Jews, almost to death, for preaching Christ, he got up and entered the city and left with Barnabas for Derbe to continue mission (Acts 14: 20). He experienced peace, the gift of the Lord, in continuing the mission.

St. Paul places an exhortation or a prerequisite to enjoy the peace of the Lord in today’s first reading: “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” The gift Jesus promises is easily experienced when we decide to suffer for the Lord. Are we ready?

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