‘A peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.’ These are Jesus’ words to us today as we continue through Eastertide.
The readings this Sunday turn towards the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples, he announces that he is to return to his Father, and tells them not to be afraid or troubled: he will still be with them through the Holy Spirit. Jesus also bestows on them the gift of his peace. This gift is also bestowed to us the believers in Jesus’ resurrection.
In the first reading, we see how, despite the differences between members of the early Christian Church, the community was guided by the Holy Spirit in making decisions. In the second reading, we see the transformation that has been brought about by the death and resurrection of Christ; the new Jerusalem is in perfect order and needs no temple, because God is already in union with God’s people, dwelling in them. In a song of thanksgiving, the Psalmist asks God to bless everyone, and for God’s ways and saving help to be known to all.
This week, let us pray for peace for all nations, especially for the people of Ukraine, eastern Europe, Yemen, Syria and Palestine, as well as for ourselves. Also, let us ask that we may have the grace to share Christ’s word with those we encounter through our actions.
Joy and peace.