His peace

Sixth Sunday of Easter

The Easter season is coming to an end as over the next two weeks we celebrate the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. Today’s Gospel reading is from St. Johns Gospel chapter 14 and is   part, of Jesus’ words spoken to his disciples at the Last Supper (known as his farewell discourse). It reminds us that Jesus remains with us through the Holy Spirit (Advocate) who teaches us everything we need to know, and reminds us of Jesus’ teachings and most importantly brings us peace. Living like Jesus brings us peace.

Have you ever experienced a feeling of deep peace? A feeling of comfort, consolation and love?

Before he died Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for his immanent departure and also for the gift of the Holy Spirit who would help them, after Jesus had gone. Central to the Gospel are Jesus’ words “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” It is much more than a simple word of greeting, this is a special kind of peace which will be a feeling that Jesus is always with them even though he will return to the Father. It is his final gift to the disciples. Sometimes we mistake this peace for our idea of quietness or tranquillity. The world can offer some peace, but usually it doesn’t last. Our inner tensions, fears and worries about our daily lives are a cry for a deeper, more lasting peace. Our thirst for peace is a search to know peace with God and only Jesus can offer us this reconciliatory peace. 

The Hebrew word for peace found in the Bible is “Shalom.” The word “peace” doesn’t convey the same sense of completeness. “Shalom” implies the idea that nothing is lacking, it is a sense of perfect wellbeing, perfect harmony with God. How is it possible for us in our busy, fast paced world to find this peace? If we are in a relationship with God then we have to work at it, just like any other relationship. We need to spend time in prayer. Ask yourself if you give enough time to prayer each day? Do you have a prayer routine? Would you like to be able to find more time for prayer? Maybe you could rearrange your schedule to find even just ten minutes of quiet time with God. Jesus’ gift of peace can become ours if we accept and embrace Jesus’ offer of salvation. There are many ways in which we can pray, St. Therese of Lisieux said, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

A reading from the Gospel of John  (Jn 14: 23-29)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. This week why not try a new type of prayer, maybe meditating on a passage of scripture (lectio divina) or maybe pay a visit to the Adoration Chapel in your parish. Try to spend a quiet 10 minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  
  4. Talk as a family about how Jesus prepared his disciples for his Death and Resurrection and how he prepared them for what was going to happen afterwards (receive gift of the Holy Spirit). Explain that we too received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and that when we do our Confirmation we will receive it again with all the special gifts.
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare
    i. The Bible reading from St John (10: 27-30)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    iv. A computer/laptop with the readings and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊 

Today we are going to hear Jesus telling the disciples not to be afraid that he is going away because he is going to leave them a special gift. A special helper, the Holy Spirit.

  • Jesus promised he would send the Holy Spirit, who comes to us in Baptism and who helps and guides us
  • Presents printout
  • Pencil
  • Colours/ stickers
  • Scissors

When we need help with something which we don’t know how to do such as tying our shoe laces for example, what can we do? Probably we need to ask someone for help. Who do you think the disciples asked when they needed help or wanted to learn about God? I think it would have been Jesus who they turned to.

 Have you ever visited a museum where you had a tour guide to show you all the wonderful things in the museum and to explain exactly what all the things are? A guide is someone who can lead you and who can help you to understand exactly what you are seeing. Whilst Jesus was with the disciples he was helping them and guiding them on how to come to know God the Father and love Him. Today Jesus tells the disciples that soon he will be leaving them (he is going to die on the cross) to be with God the father in heaven. Jesus tells them not to worry because he is going to send a guide to help them after he has gone. Do you know who this guide is? It is the Holy Spirit! Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Advocate. This is a big word but it means someone who helps, guides and supports someone else. The Holy Spirit is a gift which Jesus gave to the Apostles and which he also gives to us.

The Holy Spirit comes to us when we are baptized. He fills us with God’s life. The Holy Spirit helps us and guides us on our journey to heaven. We can pray to the Holy Spirit to help us in our lives. We can pray often to the Holy Spirit to guide and help us make good choices and to help us always choose to do the right thing.  

The Holy Spirit is a special gift from God, print out the gift template and carefully cut out the four gifts and colour them or decorate them with stickers. On the back of each gift write how you might be a good helper or guide to someone. For example, how you might help your mother or father around the house or how you can help a sibling or a friend who has a problem. Then you can give out the presents to those people.

Listen to the song; Jesus I am In.

Before going to bed you could pray this short prayer to the Holy Spirit;

Sign of the Cross

Come, Holy Spirit, I need Thee

Come, sweet Spirit, I pray

Come, in Thy strength and Thy power

Come, in Thy own gentle way.


Today in the Gospel Jesus gives his disciples a very special gift. It is the gift of peace, and he tells them not to be afraid. We are also called to share Jesus’ gift of peace with others.

  • Just before he died Jesus promised the disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to help them to remember all the things that He had taught them.
  • Jesus also promised them the gift of peace
  • Black or red A4 craft card
  • Pencil/ruler
  • White and coloured tissue paper
  • Scissors/ glue
  • Battery operated tea light candle

In today’s Gospel Jesus offers the gift of peace but tells us that his peace is different from the peace that the world gives. If we had to think about peace and what it means exactly what would you say? Often we think of peace as being the opposite of noise, a very quiet place. We also think of peace as a time of no conflict (fighting/war). At this time there are many countries who are suffering because of a lack of peace, they are at war. We think especially of Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya. All these countries need our prayers for peace.

Nonetheless, Jesus is talking about a different kind of peace. The peace of Christ is that feeling inside our hearts where we allow God’s love to live in us and where we allow Jesus to be a part of our lives and help us make good choices. If we live as Jesus taught us, we will experience Jesus’ special gift of peace.

Jesus told the disciples that he would also give them the gift of the Holy Spirit to help them to continue his work after he was gone. Jesus brings comfort to the disciples by telling them, that he will always be with them and they will be cared for, even after he leaves them.

The gift of peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit go together as peace is one of the ‘fruits’ of the Holy Spirit which you learn about when you do your Confirmation. When you were baptised you received the gift of the Holy Spirit for the first time and when you are confirmed this gift is strengthened. Did you know that when we offer people a sign of peace at mass it is much more than just a greeting? We are offering them our deepest wish that Jesus will be present in their heart! This is really a special kind of peace that only Jesus can give us.

Now you may create your own Peace Lantern to keep in your room and light up when you say your prayers for peace. Just follow the instructions (insert).

Listen to this song: Peace like a River.

Sign of the cross.

Dear God, help us to make our world a peaceful place so that all people can live free from the fear of war and fighting. We ask this in the name of Jesus who is the Prince of Peace. Amen

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.