Sunday Gospel reflections: ‘Do not be afraid!’
Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C
In Sunday’s Gospel we can tell that Jesus’ followers are troubled. Their teacher and friend is explaining that he will be leaving them very soon, and they are worried and anxious because they don’t know what the future will bring. So he comforts them by letting them know they will not be abandoned. He gives them a great gift: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
And 2,000 years later, we who are also his followers are worried and anxious about the future, too.
If we are young, we worry about whether we will find jobs, whether we will find love, whether our lives will have meaning and purpose. These worries can come back throughout our lives, but when we are older we also tend to worry about whether our children will thrive, whether we will be healthy, whether we will be able to look back on our lives and feel we have lived well.
And so, Jesus’ words are meant not just for disciples standing right before him, but also for us. Our future is unknown, and that may be unsettling, but we have not been abandoned. Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid. If we open ourselves and allow ourselves truly to experience God’s presence, then our hearts can be nourished by the gift of peace — his peace — that Jesus offers.
— Patrick Gallagher
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Psalm 67:2-3, 5,6,8
Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23