My own peace I give you

It’s shocking to see pictures of the war in Ukraine. Cities being bombed, families driven from their homes, innocent people shot in the street. And, of course, this is not the only war that is raging in the world today. In Syria, in Yemen, in Afghanistan, people’s lives are being turned upside down by conflict. In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say, ‘My own peace I give you,’ but peace seems as far away as ever.

Jesus promises his disciples ‘a peace the world cannot give.’ There can be no peace where there is hatred, suspicion and anger. Peace can only come when we follow the teachings of Christ, who tells his disciples, ‘If anyone loves me they will keep my word.’ If we love Jesus and keep his word, he will change our hearts, moving us from hatred to love, from fear to trust, from vengeance to forgiveness. He will teach us to listen to others and be reconciled to those we think of as enemies. This is the only way to peace, in the world and in our own communities. This is the peace that Christ gives to his disciples; a peace that the world cannot give. 

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