May 05, 2015
Tuesday, 5th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 14:19–28
Gospel: John 14:27–31
Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace be with you; I give you my peace. Not as the world gives peace do I give it to you. Do not be troubled; do not be afraid. You heard me say: ‘I am going away, but I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. “I have told you this now before it takes place, so that when it does happen you may believe. It is very little what I may still tell you, for the ruler of this world is at hand, although there is nothing in me that he can claim. But see, the world must know that I love the Father and that I do what the Father has taught me to do.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Israelite conceived peace as Yahweh’s gift. Gideon’s altar, for example, had the title “Yahweh-shalom” (Yahweh is peace) (Judges 6:24). Israelites believed that when one was at peace, one was in perfect communion with Yahweh. This was also the object of priestly blessings as in fact they were sought for to invoke the peace of Yahweh upon Israel (Numbers 6:26). When they prayed for Jerusalem it was to ask peace for the city (Psalm 122:6-8). They believed that Yahweh desires the peace of those who serve him (Psalm 35:27) and attain peace especially when they reflect on His words because His words effect peace (Psalm 85:9). This demands righteousness on the part of those who serve him. (Psalm 85:11). Where there is no righteousness, there is no genuine peace.
Leviticus 26:3-13 mentions the elements of peace: rain, abundant harvests, no enemy to terrify, no wild beasts, and the existence of the covenant of Yahweh and His dwelling in the midst of his people. Peace is contrary to blood vengeance which brings a curse (1Kings 2:33).How do we know genuine peace? It must heal the damage done by falsehood (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). Furthermore, it must be characterized by obedience (Isaiah 48:18). While there is no peace for wicked people (Isaiah 48:22), peace will flow like a flowing river (Isaiah 48:18) for the people of righteousness.
The only way to righteousness is to be with the Messiah because he is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:5). Saint Paul echoes this when he wrote to the Philippians (Phl. 4:7) that peace comes through union with Jesus Christ and surpasses all human thought; it cannot be effected by human ingenuity. It dwells in the hearts of the followers of Christ who are joined in the peace of the one body of Christ (Col. 3; 15). In this sense peace is communion with God and Jesus himself is our peace since he is our bond of communion (Ephesians 2:14-17).
This was how the Israelites understood peace. NO matter how you understand it, it’s the same peace you need, the peace of Christ. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, give us true love for peace so that we may never separate ourselves from the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. ANGELO was born in Jerusalem to Jewish parents who were Christian converts. When he was eighteen years old, he, with his twin brother, entered the Carmelite Convent. He lived as a hermit for the first five years and later became a preacher among the people at Sicily. In 1220 he met his martyrdom when he was stabbed to death by a sinner named Berengarius. As he lay dying, he prayed for all the people who listened to him and for Berengarius who just paved the way to his receiving a martyr’s crown.