Homily for May 16, 2017
How would you describe a peaceful life? I guess you may say it is a life without headaches, without troubles, without difficulties; a life where all your needs are provided, wherein you have all the money you need with endless possibilities. Yes, that is how the world defines peace but strangely this is not the type of peace Christ gives.
The peace Christ gives is not the type which guarantees a smooth and painless life, it is a peace that keeps us going when the road becomes tough. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said to us:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The road to heaven is not only narrow, it is also hard. Consider Paul in today’s first reading, he was stoned by his fellow Jews and dragged out of the city and the people assumed he was dead.
Imagine the pain he must have felt, the discomfort and bruises yet, the following day, Paul got up and with the Peace of Christ fully loaded in his heart, he continued the very mission that led to his stoning.
In fact, he went back to the same town from which was dragged out “strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Nothing else could have propelled Paul to act this way other than peace of mind.
We tend to think of peace as living without troubles. But the peace of Christ is one that involves troubles. The peace of Christ is being able to remain calm even in the midst of persecution, hunger, lack rejection and suffering. It is refusing to complain regardless of whatever life throws at you.
The peace of Christ does not make the road smooth, rather it gives us a smooth ride along the most rugged of roads. This is why it is different from that of the world. The Good News is that we have this Peace already but we don’t know it because we are too busy trying to make our roads smooth, too busy trying to remove rocks on our way.
No matter how hard we try, we can never achieve the world’s definition of peace; we can never take away all our problems; all we really need is the Peace of Christ. So, even if you have to suffer like St. Paul, even if things are not working for you, Jesus is saying “let not your heart be troubled; neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, the road is narrow and hard, may your peace see me through. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 5th Week of Easter. Bible Study: Acts 14:19-28 and John 14:27-31).*