REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 17, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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. 16:33
After the last supper discourse, the disciples of Jesus were relieved because He spoke to them plainly and not in figure of speech. Their attitudes indicated they lacked understanding of God’s mind. The words spoken throughout the discourse are meant to give the disciples, and us, “courage” and the ability to conquer the trouble imposed upon us by the world.
In the discourse, Jesus points to the unity He has with His Father and the fact that if we stay united with Jesus, we will also be united to the Father. Jesus spoke of Himself being the vine and we the branches that must remain firmly attached to Him. This is only possible by the coming power of the Holy Spirit Whom He will send.
Jesus also spoke of the hatred that the world has for all who remain firmly grounded in the Truth. Therefore, if you are one who seeks to remain deeply rooted in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, and separated from the deceptions of the secular and un-Christian world, then Jesus is clearly speaking to you.
In our gospel reference today, Jesus identifies one gift that will help us on our journey. This gift is the gift of His peace. Peace is the ability to remain calm and focused in the midst of every “trouble” we encounter. The trouble that Christians will especially face are the various persecutions of the world when we live in accord with the Truth. And though there are many moral truths presented clearly by our faith that the world attacks, there are also other forms of troubles we will encounter within the world today.
One of the most manifest troubles inflicted upon many by the world comes in the form of constant visual, auditory, and mental stimulation. Our world is a noisy world. Modern electronics, the mass media, commercials, radio, Internet, social media and so many other parts of our daily life have the subtle effect of distracting us, stimulating us, and stealing away the peace of Christ.
Consider, for example, the idea of entering the silence of a retreat/recollection for a day, or two, or longer. How would you handle turning off your smartphone, tablet, computer, television, and radio for an extended period? Would you go through a form of withdrawal? Many of us today would find this difficult if not impossible. And the reason for this is that the “peace” of which Jesus speaks is slowly dwindling in our lives. Instead of God’s peace, we are filled with constant noise, commotion, and activity. This is the “world” attacking us and stealing the peace God wants to bestow.
Reflect, today, upon the exceptionally important truth—that Jesus wants you to know His peace in your heart. And He wants that peace to sustain you. Reflect upon the interior battle that may take place within you between the world and the peace of Christ. Who is winning that battle for your soul? Is there more of the world or more of the peace of Christ reigning within you? Seek out the peace that only Jesus gives, and, as you discover His peace, you will also discover the source of that peace: Jesus Himself.
Lord of all peace, You have called us out of the world so that Your peace will abide within us, sustaining us, giving us courage, wisdom and strength. I open my life to You, dear Lord, and pray that the many distractions and commotions imposed upon me by the world will begin to cease. May I always hear Your gentle voice and follow You to the place of silent repose found only in You. Jesus, I trust in You.