Maybe Australia, in a sense, and all Australians should devour this Gospel today and ponder the aspects particularly reported in Verse 27a:
“Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you.”
Amidst all the wash up of the Election results with calls to slash wrists, to complain about how some people voted, to wonder what went right and what went wrong, one truth stands out…no violent demonstrations in the street, no suggestion that the vote had been rigged, a cordial acceptance of the result and all went back to their beer or red wine. There was peace!
You may care to debate what sort of peace, but it was vastly different in Indonesia, in India or in the recent results in South Africa or Nigeria.
I think it is worth reflecting on this act of nationwide ‘peace’. It may not be all that Jesus had in mind, but I believe that this experience is a result, in part, of our faith background, of the acceptance in the past; particularly of the gift of this teaching of Jesus.
We are not perfect.
Lots of aspects of our society need improving or changing, but on one crucial day in our history there was an expression of peace not experienced in all parts of the world.
We ought to say thanks… and work harder to allow this gift to be a valuable characteristic of our society.
It is a timely reminder of the abiding presence of the Spirit and I think that the basic call of this weekend is to fire up in all of us a deeper recall and recognition of the gift of the Spirit.
“It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves,” was a catchphrase of the early Church. Let us endeavour to make that practise more so ours in family decisions, at work, and above all in the work of the forthcoming Plenary Council.