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Sixth Sunday of Easter—True Peace

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid’” (John 14:23, 27).
Peace and love, love and peace. It seems this is all we’ve been hearing for several weeks; yet, just as the disciples before us, we are challenged once again to love and to be peace for the world. When we read or hear about a violent place where people are hoping for or working to achieve peace, it is not the same as the peace spoken of in this Scripture reading—“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Shalom—the one word of Hebrew that almost everyone knows. Jesus entrusts to us the rich heritage of peace that he received from his own tradition and from his Father. Shalom is not what we usually consider to be peace—the absence of war and strife. It is a positive state in which all is right between us and God, and between us and all of God’s creation. This is the true peace that Jesus wishes for us. Such shalom is made possible only by the reconciliation of the world to the Father in Christ.
Jesus promises shalom, an active peace. It is the task of peace, the making right of relationships, the seeking of peace. Shalom is similar to the peace we are to seek with others before we gather in the celebration of the Eucharist. We are to heal the broken body of the Church and any of our relationships before sharing the Body of Christ and the shalom that calls us to “be peace” for others.
We are called to make shalom happen—to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to bring good news to all those who need it, to bring peace to all. Shalom is the greatest gift Christ left us. Spreading this peace is the greatest gift we can give to others.
How have you experienced shalom in your life?
Adapted from Word on the Go, a downloadable resource from RENEW International.

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