“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Powerful! Inspiring! A lot of words come to mind when we read this excerpt from John’s Gospel. I have always found it interesting that this beautiful teaching from Jesus is only found in John’s Gospel. The Hebrew for peace be with you is “Shalom Aleichem.” It literally translates into peace be upon you. “Upon you.” What does that make you think of? Maybe when hands were laid upon you in Confirmation. Maybe Psalm 17 – “I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God.” Or maybe when you pray to the Holy Spirit?
Pope Francis gave a homily on this Gospel in 2019 and reflected that this Scripture gives us reassurance. Jesus promised never to leave us alone, even as he prepared to face his Passion and the Cross. He was going to send his Holy Spirit to support us. Jesus continues to teach through the action of the Spirit, who helps us in our mission of proclaiming the Gospel.
How can we find peace in the Lord? Through prayer; prayer to the Holy Spirit to help guide us and continue to teach us. I think the greatest tool to help others share in the peace of Christ is prayer. At seminary, every Tuesday, a group of the us pray together. It helps calm our thoughts and draws Jesus’ teachings to front of mind. We ask the Spirit for guidance and the courage to continue to grow as joyful missionary disciples. Peace be with all of us and may we all pray for the Holy Spirit to be “upon us.”