The poetic message of today’s gospel is comforting and troubling at the same time. How many times have we agonized over losing something we held dear, or grown dependent upon? The disciples were about to lose their Lord and Master, and they couldn’t wrap their heads around it. Jesus knew they would need reassurance, a future promise of peace, to endure the suffering that awaited them.
What is peace? There is inner peace, the kind that the world can’t offer. Your doctor might tell you to take a vacation. Go to Hawaii, get away from it all. Sure, this might work for awhile. Jesus‘ peace is with us during times of great suffering, drama and uncertainty. The world gives temporary satisfaction, but no rest of conscience. Having seen parts of the world where atrocities happen daily and knowing that our own courts and social agencies sometimes deny victim protection, I grapple most with why women and children have to suffer as victims of sexual abuse, forced prostitution, trafficking and domestic violence. We are human, after all, and God doesn’t expect perfection, but somehow that doesn’t comfort me much. Just recently the International Criminal Court found a former African dictator guilty of these crimes:
In view of the truth, I have to trust that God is in control, that all will be put right. I continue to ask the Holy Spirit to bring me closer to gratitude for the gift of life, and open my heart and mind to imagine life after death, a world without violence, anxiety or suffering. A world safe for women and children.
“Lord, help me to rest in the stillness of your presence while I prepare for this day. Let the radiance of your glory shine upon me, in complete trust. I will be still and know that you are God. As I rest in your presence, focusing on you, trust is our bond. You are always with me and I have no reason to be afraid. I will return to you whenever I wander, and await you in the present moment. You accept me back without judgment. I will seek your will in whatever I do.”
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