“I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world” (Jn 16:29-33) are among the last words Jesus speaks to the Apostles before entering his passion. He is offering words of consolation not just for the events soon to transpire as he crucified for our sins but for the days and years to follow, for the Apostles and for us, as well.
What Jesus offers is truly the peace this world cannot give because any earthly consolation we cling to will eventually fade or be disrupted by our next crisis or passing concern. Earlier in John’s Gospel, Jesus declares, “Peace I leave with you; my Peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” If Jesus repeats a message, it is to assure that his disciples don’t miss its importance.
So, what causes your heart to be troubled? Do you currently face tribulations robbing you of peace? Do you believe that in Jesus, you will find lasting peace?
In Luke 10:34, we met two sisters, Mary and Martha of Bethany, whose interaction with Jesus during a visit to their home teaches us all a valuable lesson on maintaining a peaceful heart. Martha, busy cleaning, preparing the meal, and serving her guests (of which Jesus is among), is angry with her sister’s lack of assistance. Perturbed, she implores Jesus to force her sister to help. Mary, we find at the feet of Jesus, listening and learning from the Master. Jesus commends Mary’s choosing the good portion (or the better part) and tells Martha it will not be taken from her. Martha is anxious and worried about many things, but Jesus points out only one thing is needed. He, and our time with him, is that one thing! Without time for worship and prayer, finding peace in Jesus – the peace this world cannot give – may be impossible.
Let’s explore one more verse. How would you answer Jesus’ question, “Do you now believe?” If not in him, then where do you place your trust? Faith is one of our greatest treasures, and “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). Our peace can be shattered through a lack of faith, belief, and trust in the one true God; if you rely on the fleeting, you will never rest on secure and solid ground.
Take heart, for we know the rest of the story. Jesus has conquered the world; he has overcome death and opened the gates of heaven. Knowing that alone, nothing should shake our soul or rob our Peace.
Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Readings for the Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr Reading 1 Tb 1:3; 2:1a-8 I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my lifeon the paths of truth and…
Saint of the Day
Saint Norbert founded the order with the most difficult name to pronounce and spell—Praemonstratensians. Perhaps that’s why they go by the name of Norbertines. But this order was anything but hard to appreciate when it comes to the work they did. They were very effective in converting heretics and reconciling enemies.