The gift of peace (10-02-21)
Bible Readings: Mark 4:35-41, John 14:27
That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
It seems to me that, in spite of the light of vaccination at the end of the tunnel, this third lockdown is harder to navigate than the others. Maybe it is because we are exhausted after almost a year of isolation, maybe it is because it is winter with cold, wet days and long nights, or maybe it is the fear of more the contagious variants of the virus. Whatever the reason it seems that the pandemic is having an increasing impact on our mental well-being.
In the midst of this storm that still rages it is good to remember that, as with his disciples, Jesus is with us in the boat. The fact that he was asleep in the boat with his disciples is not a sign that he doesn’t care, but evidence that, being at peace with his Father, he can be at peace with the world, whatever storms are raging.
In the storm of this pandemic, let us reflect on, and take to heart Jesus’ words:
My peace I give to you.
What Jesus is giving us comes from him, from his heart of love and compassion.
The peace Jesus gives is peace within the storm. Not the world’s peace, but the deep peace of being right with God.
It is a gift, undeserved, unearned, and freely offered. A gift of grace.
The peace of Jesus; a gift to you, personally, individually. A gift to be received.
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are with me in the storms of life.
I come to you with my anxieties, with my fears and with the stresses of life today.
Fill me with your peace, I pray.
My peace I give unto you