Gospel Reflection — John 14:27-31
“Why can’t we all just get along?”
As the middle child having grown up between two sisters, I have always despised conflict. I often thought that things would be so much better if conflict would just be avoided and we could just let things be. And this is often the case we see in the world today. When it comes to conflict in relationships, if we all just accepted the way that everybody else wants to be, even if we don’t like it, we could avoid conflict and finally have peace. If we accept everything that anyone does, we would never get mad at one another. Isn’t that the picture of peace?
Jesus says that the peace He gives to us is not like that which the world gives. From a worldly perspective, if there is no suffering—if there is no conflict, then there must be peace. The absence of suffering and conflict are considered the source of worldly peace. But Jesus says that He is the source of peace. It is rooted solely in Him. It is a supernatural peace.
Did Jesus ever say that peace would mean no conflict? Did He say that peace would mean no suffering? No. In the examples we see of many of the Saints in the Church who endured untold suffering, the mark that sets these people apart from the rest of the world is that in their suffering, they all found peace. In their conflict, they all found peace. The world hated them, despised them, and even killed some of them, just as they did to Jesus. Yet, they stood as pillars refusing to accept the evil and immoral ways of this world, and at the same time, rested in the heart of Jesus, and were at peace.
Yes, it would be nice if we could all just get along. But our peace comes from God, and it is a peace that stands in conflict with evil, not against conflict itself.