6th Sunday of Easter C – Shalom
Kieran O’Mahony reminds us that today’s Gospel is part of a profound meditation on Christian life in the period following the resurrection. Today, in light of Jesus’ promise of peace and the Holy Spirit, I feel it is as if we are assembling a stained-glass window containing the many coloured facets of Jesus’ life and teaching. The full design remains hidden until the light of the Spirit brings it to life in us. Jesus, before he died, offered to the world the completeness of peace, and he promised the Holy Spirit who will teach us everything and lead us into all truth and reality.
The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit…. will remind you of all I have said to you…. The paraclete would enable the disciples to grasp the full meaning of Jesus’ words, writes Raymond E. Brown. The paraclete is the continued presence of Jesus on earth in his disciples, providing divine assurance and guidance. “The ancient world was shot through with secrecy and deception. Without an inside source or a ‘paraclete’, you were certainly ‘not in the know’. Jesus promise of a paraclete gave the disciples enormous peace, and not as the world gives peace. Even now we can see why” – cf. BROWN, Gospel of John, p. 653; PILCH, Cultural World of Jesus (3) p. 82-84.
“True Christianity is growth in the life of the Spirit”, wrote Thomas Merton. Our faith tells us that the Spirit is the love of God poured out into our hearts – cf. Rom 5: 5. When it happens, we feel it. We experience its warmth, its joy and its peace; the experience of love enhances our patience, kindness and goodness, and we sense a new trustfulness within us, a warm gentleness and a generous self- control – cf. Gal 5: 22. To be touched by the Spirit is like a spiritual awakening to new life in which the false life of the ego is discarded like an old snake skin and a new self is born – cf. John 3: 5.
Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give… The Hebrew word for peace is ‘Shalom’, a word that means more than peace of mind or a ceasefire between enemies. “Shalom refers to making something whole or restoring something to its original state. It is the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfilment, and delight,” writes Margaret Silf. Everyone and everything is connected; nothing stands alone. The biblical prophets spoke of shalom as the blessing and gift of what Creator had in mind when creating – the wholeness of the web of life – the unity, justice, peace and delight in all there is – cf. SILF, At Sea with God.
Fr. QQ – 05/18/2022
Faith is the vision arising from being loved – Michael Paul Gallagher