Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 26, 2019)

Today’s first reading recounts for us the first great debate in the Church.

After listening to all the parties and praying, the apostles and elders respond: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us …” The Apostles depended on the Holy Spirit they had received from Jesus. The Holy Spirit sent by the Father in Jesus’ name will teach them everything and remind them of all that Jesus had told them. The Spirit did just that.

Through the centuries, the Church has followed the same path with new debates: listening, praying, and responding with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Along with the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus gives us the gift of his peace – a peace that is more profound than any peace the world might offer. Jesus’ peace brings us the assurance that nothing can separate us from his love. Jesus’ peace strengthens our faith and trust that we will be victorious over trials and suffering as Jesus was. Jesus’ peace enables us to live with optimism and grace.

Jesus tells us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” If we choose to abide in Jesus’ peace and seek opportunities to share that peace with one another, we will have no reason to be troubled or afraid.

Every breath we take is a reminder of the Holy Spirit within us and the gift of Jesus’ peace in our hearts.

Let us breathe deeply today – and be at peace.