by Deacon Robin Cheung
Today we celebrate the 6th Sunday of Easter.
We thank God for sending us his peace and the Holy Spirit!
There is a lot of coming and going in life. Everyday we have to make many decisions.
How can we make a peaceful choice?
Prayers definitely can help.
Speaking of decisions, last week, my wife and I had to change our plans. We were planning to visit Ottawa on Saturday with our son’s family to admire the blooming of the tulips. Unfortunately, we received sad news that one of our good friends was in hospital for emergency surgery, and at the same time, a Chinese brother deacon who was ordained just one year ago, passed away suddenly.
After prayer, we felt at peace, and we decided to go to Toronto for the funeral and to visit our friend who now is still in the hospital recovering.
Today, Jesus also says, “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’”
Were the disciples joyful and at peace when Jesus told them about his departure? Probably not!
They ignored what Jesus had taught them about his suffering, death, resurrection and eternal life. Instead, they competed among themselves to see who would be the greatest in Jesus’ potential earthly kingdom.
Their focus was not on Jesus but on themselves, even though Jesus promised them His peace when he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you!”
Today, likewise, Jesus is also promising us his peace. But are we able to keep his peace in our heart?
Why is it so difficult to have peace?
Probably, we also focus too much on ourselves, especially on money, fame, power, beauty, and health.
Some of us may even have asked, “I go to church every Sunday and I pray all the time to have peace. How come I still do not have peace in my heart?”
Today, Jesus invites us to receive the Holy Spirit!
Most of us, instead of practicing the fruits of the Holy Spirit at home and at work, have turned our home and our workplace into a war zone, through criticism and violence.
Instead of teaching our kids to imitate Jesus’ kindness, we show them our horrible faces of anger.
Instead of loving one another, we judge others, sometimes even in front of our children.
This is not breaking news anymore. This is becoming the reality of our daily life.
Do we really want to have peace?
Peace starts from our hearts, and we have to change our hearts, our bad dispositions!
The truth is, if we spread the fragrance of love and forgiveness, someone, somewhere, will smell the aromas of peace!
If we spread hatred and violence, something very bad will soon be in the air.
We have a choice in life.
Peace or violence is at our disposal.
If we want our children to be peacemakers, let us show them how.
If we wish to have a loving and peaceful family, we, not others, must learn how to respect one another and love one another!
Yes, we are not perfect, but the Holy Spirit can guide us and transform us.
Let us pray to the Holy Spirit for our transformation!
But, most importantly, we need to reconcile with God and with our family and our friends.
Be not afraid!
All we need to start is a little courage to say “I'm sorry”!
All we have to do is put the fruits of the Holy Spirit into action!
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us!
Deacon Robin Cheung
is a permanent deacon serving in the Archdiocese of Montreal. Previously, he served at Montreal Chinese Catholic Mission. Currently, he is at St. John Brébeuf Parish in LaSalle.
Contact him by email at [email protected]