A certain phrase stood out for me in the first reading in the Liturgy of the Word for the Sixth Sunday of Easter. In this reading from the Acts of the Apostles, (15:1-2, 22-29) St. Luke writes that Barsabbas and Silas were sent to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas to deliver a letter to reassure the gentiles that by abstaining only from certain foods and by refraining from unlawful marriage, they will be acting rightly.
The apostles felt it was necessary to deliver this message to the Gentiles. Luke records their explanation:
“Since we have heard that some of our number without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have
with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you
along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul…” (Acts 15;24-25)
So can you guess which phrase stood out for me? The answer is disturbed your peace of mind. In today’s world, there is so much that can disturb one’s peace of mind! Depending upon the broadcast channel you are watching or listening to or the newspapers you read, or even on situations in your personal life, it is easy to have your peace of mind disturbed. How about the rising prices of everything, or the upsurges in the pandemic, or the questions of “fake news,” or climate change, or local crime? The list is long!
What factors make up peace of mind? I suggest that when you decide upon personal definitions of what is right and wrong, you give yourself a base on which to build peace. It also gives you a confidence and, perhaps, a certain methodical calmness. Of course, research and fact-finding are important, along with faith and trust in your sources of information.