Homily for 6th Sunday in Easter, Cycle C-2016

posted May 6, 2016, 12:42 PM by Church Office   [ updated May 6, 2016, 12:42 PM by Michelle Massung ]

How can we know and be assured of the love of God? The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in the knowledge of God and his great love. The Spirit enables us to experience the love of God and to be assured of the Lord’s abiding presence with us (see Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit also opens our ears to hear and understand the word of God. Do you listen attentively to God's word and believe it? Ask the Holy Spirit to inflame your heart with the love of God and his word.

In his farewell discourse Jesus grants peace as his gift to his disciples. What kind of peace does he offer? The peace of Christ is more than the absence of trouble. It includes everything which makes for our highest good. The world's approach to peace is avoidance of trouble and a refusal to face unpleasant things. Jesus offers the peace which conquers our fears and anxieties. Nothing can take us from the peace and joy of Jesus Christ. No sorrow or grief, no danger, no suffering can make it less. 

How can we attain the peace which the Lord Jesus offers his followers? Through the gift and work of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, the Lord Jesus shows us how to yield our passions of anger, fear, and pride to him so we can receive his gift of peace. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and strengthens us with his gifts and supernatural virtues which enable us to live as wise and holy Disciples of Christ. 

"Peace, indeed, is serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, simplicity of heart, the bond of love, the fellowship of charity. It removes hatred, settles wars, restrains wrath, tramples on pride, loves the humble, pacifies the discordant and makes enemies agree. For it is pleasing to everyone. It does not seek what belongs to another or consider anything as its own. It teaches people to love because it does not know how to get angry, or to extol itself or become inflated with pride. It is meek and humble to everyone, possessing rest and tranquility within itself. When the peace of Christ is exercised by a Christian, it is brought to perfection by Christ. If anyone loves it, he will be an heir of God, while anyone who despises it rebels against Christ.

"When our Lord Jesus Christ was returning to the Father, he left his peace to his followers as their inherited good, teaching them and saying, 'My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you.' Anyone who has received this peace should keep it, and one who has destroyed it should look for it, while anyone who has lost it should seek it. For if anyone is not found with it, he will be disinherited by the Father and deprived of his inheritance."

However, there is another kind of peace that Christ offers to us.  I think it can best be articulated in this story:

There Once Was A King Who Offered A Prize To The Artist Who Would Paint The Best Picture Of Peace. Many Artists Tried And Submitted Their Work. The King Looked At All The Pictures. There Were Only Two He Really Liked, And He Had To Choose Between Them.

One Picture Was Of A Calm Lake, Perfectly Mirroring The Peaceful, Towering Mountains All Around It. Overhead Was Blue Sky With Fluffy, White Clouds. It Was The Favorite Of All Who Saw It. Truly, They Thought, It Was The Perfect Picture Of Peace.
The Other Picture Had Mountains, Too, But These Were Rugged And Bare. Above Was An Angry Sky From Which Rain Fell And In Which Lightening Played. Down The Side Of One Mountain Tumbled A Foaming Waterfall. A Less Peaceful Picture Would Be Difficult To Imagine. But When The King Looked Closely, He Saw Beside The Waterfall A Tiny Bush Growing In A Crack In The Rock. In The Bush A Mother Bird Had Built Her Nest. There, In The Midst Of The Rush Of Angry Water, Sat The Mother Bird On Her Nest In Perfect Peace.
Which Picture Would You Have Selected? The King Chose The Second Picture. Do You Know Why?
“Because,” Explained The King, “Peace Does Not Mean To Be In A Place Where There Is No Noise, Trouble, Or Hard Work. Peace Means To Be In The Midst Of All These Things And Still Be Calm In Your Heart. This Is The Real Meaning Of Peace.”

 

This week, seek the peace of Christ by obeying his commandments to love and to trust in Jesus that he is with you in both the good times and bad.  As a result, you will experience the peace Christ promises to each and everyone of us.

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