Presided by Msgr. Simas; Sermon : Deacon Benjamin Lai
In today's gospel reading, Jesus says peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives, but do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Peace is one of 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit and the others are: charity, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. Not to be confused with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit which enable us to bear these fruit. Peace is the first thing that Jesus gave to the disciples after his resurrection. when he came into the locked upper room, and then Jesus breathed on them and said "receive the holy spirit". In today's gospel reading, Jesus is telling the disciples that, and also telling all of us that peace in our lives can only be accomplished through abiding in God's word and his love. everything that we do in every thought and feeling that comes in our mind and in our heart, we need to redirect them and line our will to conform to the will of the father. Aside from Jesus we can accomplish nothing, and we definitely will not have that lasting peace that Jesus speaks about and promises to all of us.
Too often, we pray and seek the good in this world. We often seek the exterior good so that we don't have to endure the interior hardship. All too often, our interior peace is too dependent on the outer things that happen in our lives. And all too often we pray for exterior good so that it will not disturb our inner peace. Jesus is turning all of our understanding in life upside down, and inside out. Our inner peace and true peace can only be accomplished by remaining in Christ. Our will and our pride would tell us otherwise that you can do this alone, but in reality we cannot do this alone, and we need to advocate the Holy Spirit to teach everything that we need and to remind us of all that Jesus told us. Jesus promises that he will never leave us; he is telling his disciples before his crucifixion that he must endure this suffering and death in order to bring the greater good for the world. his disciples did not understand what Jesus meant. And in the moment of his death, it seems like Jesus has abandoned them. However, he assured us that he will never leave us. and he must do the will of his father, in order to make a dwelling place for us in heaven.
Whatever difficulties that we go through, we can be assured that God has not abandoned us, and that he remains with us. In order to remain in peace, we need to allow God to take over our lives, and sometimes endure personal suffering. Often we become anxious and disturbed because we try to resolve all of our difficulties ourselves. When it would be better to just remain at peace and allow God to act with his infinite wisdom and power. Jesus told St Faustina that your duty will be to trust completely in my goodness, and my duty- meaning Jesus duty, will be to give you all that you need. I am making myself dependent on your trust. If your trust is great, then my generosity will be without limit. We must ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray like that, with the trust and confidence that knowing that God will do great things for those who love him. For most of us, we strive to accomplish good things in this life and to avoid suffering. This approach makes sense when all of our upbringing, our life's experience and our education tell us that enjoyment in this life is the fulfillment of life, and suffering is to be avoided. even Jesus asked the father to take this cup away from me in the garden of Gethsemane. But the important difference is that Jesus surrendered his will to the father, and he said let your will be done not mine.
All too often we pray to God to take away the suffering and challenges in Life, without qualifying that we will accept the father's will, like Jesus did. Perhaps we only trust a little bit, and only ask God for a little suffering, instead of trusting God completely, and opening ourselves fully to let his will be done. God has always our best interests in mind. not for the short term but for our eternity. We often focus on the here and now, without taking the long view of our eternal life. Pope Saint John the 23rd said true peace is born of doing the will of God, and bearing with patience.
Again, we will need the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray as we should, to surrender our lives to God. and to allow God to take care of everything. The Holy Spirit has been compared to the wind that takes us to our destination. We continue to fight against the wind, and go the opposite way; we will never attain and achieve what God has planned for us. And in the process, we may be going backwards, and in the wrong direction. We continue to struggle against the wind, and struggle to maintain peace in our lives. We often look for solutions in this world, instead of looking inside our hearts. There, we discover the presence of God, the source of true and lasting peace. This is the main reason why we do not obtain lasting peace, pure contentment, and true happiness in life. We’re chasing something else outside, and we end up more frustrated and discouraged than ever. Instead let us look within, and discover the presence of God - the true source of happiness and peace. In that way, when we pray, we will not be motivated by our selfish ambitions, instead, for our desire to do the will of the spirit. And ask the spirit to guide us and pray for things that will take ourselves to where God wants to take us, and not necessarily what we would expect.
Only God alone is capable of giving true and lasting peace. It is no coincidence that the priest quotes a passage from today's gospel at every mass before we receive the Holy Communion. When Jesus said "my peace i leave you, my peace i give you", when we receive Holy Communion in the state of grace. we receive the real presence of God in the source of everlasting peace. During these times of divisions and confusion, we need the peace of Christ evermore. let's take from Saint Pio, who said: "always remain close to the catholic church because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus, and the blessed sacrament, the true prince of peace
在今天的福音中，耶穌說 ”我把平安留給你們，我將我的平安賜給你們；我所賜給你們的，不像世界所賜的一樣。你們心裏不要煩亂，也不要膽怯”。平安是聖神結的十二果實之一，其他的果實是：”慈善、喜樂、忍耐、恩慈、良善、慷慨、溫柔、信實、謙虛、自制和貞潔”。這十二個果實是由天主賞賜的聖神七恩所結出來的。當復活的耶穌進入上鎖的房間，向門徒們吹了一口氣說 “接受聖神吧”。平安就是耶穌給門徒的第一個果實。在今天的福音中，耶穌告訴我們，平安只有通過聆聽天主的話和感受到天主的愛才能得到。我們的心思意念和行為，都需要聽從聖神的指引才能符合天父聖意。沒有耶穌，我們什麼也做不了，永遠不會擁有耶穌所允諾的永久平安。
我們也祈求天主拿走我們生活中的苦難，也想學習耶穌接受父的旨意。但是我們只有一點點的信德，只敢求一點苦，而不是全然的信靠。不敢敞開自己，成就天主的聖意。天主總是給最好的，祂不只看眼前，祂看的是我們的永生。我們只注意此時此刻，無法看到永生。教宗聖約翰 23 世說，真正的平安在於以忍耐，承受，並遵行天主的旨意。
接受聖體前，神父都會引用耶穌的這句話 “我把平安留給你們，我將我的平安賜給你們” ，當我們在恩典的狀態下接受聖體時，我們就從永恆平安的源頭—耶穌的手中接受到真正平安的祝福。 在這分裂和混亂的時代，我們需要這份平安。 聖 Pio 說：“永遠與天主教會保持密切聯繫，只有祂才能給你真正的平安，只有祂擁有平安的君王—耶穌和祂的聖禮。