There is no peace! Why are we so prone to discord

Comment to the Gospel of Sunday 28 May 2023

Pentecost Sunday - Year A

Acts 2,1-11 Ps 103 1Cor 12,3-7.12-13 Jn 20,19-23

Multiplicity, if it does not have the cohesion of unity, is the origin of divisions and quarrels

Saint Augustine,Speech272/B, 2
Peace, There is no peace! Comment to the Gospel of Sunday 28 May 2023
There is no peace! 4

The killjoy discord

Discord is a cipher of human existence. We are led to divide ourselves, to make each other war, to look at us with distrust. We are actively contributing to building a world of evil.

Lo avevano capito anche gli antichi greci che avevano immaginato una dea specificamente dedita alla discordia.

Si tratta di Eris che Omero definisce “signora del dolore”. Eris è particolarmente attiva durante le guerre, accanto al fratello Ares, con lo scopo di rendere combattivi i cuori dei soldati in guerra.

One of the famous episodes that sees her hero it is what happened during the banquet for the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, to which Eris was not invited (we all would like to avoid discord in moments of celebration). To take revenge, Eris throws an apple among the guests on which it was written "to the most beautiful”.

Da qui la lite tra Era, Afrodite e Atena per contendersi il titolo onorifico.

From a trivial discord, like this, harmful consequences can arise: in fact, from that quarrel we will lead to the Trojan War!

Starting with pride

Discord and division, such as that which occurred in Babel (cf. Gen 11:1-9), where we no longer understand each other, are the sign of the absence of the Spirit. The division is between us, but many times it is also within us, when conflicting voices stir and struggle within ours heart.

Di solito l’origine della divisione è la superbia, la pretesa di sembrare migliori degli altri: le tre dee greche si contendono un titolo persino illusorio.

Andiamo spesso dietro a gratificazioni che non esistono, si chiamano infatti vanità, cose vuote e inconsistenti, che però muovono il nostro animo a schierarsi a battaglia.

When we claim to be the first or the best, the other becomes an opponent to be defeated: Eris, discord, makes our heart daring, blinds our sight, prevents us from seeing who is in front of us, we just want to eliminate the other in the illusion that in this way we will finally have our deserved space. The other with his presence sends us back the image of our defeat and our limitation.

Create the conditions

Paradoxically, although this is the ordinary condition of the human heart, we are all quick to recognize that we would not like to live in division, but we affirm that we desire harmony, peace and tranquillity.

The text of theActs of the Apostlesdraws our attention to those conditions which allow communion to be received as a sign of Spirit.

Prima di tutto ci viene detto che i discepoli si trovavano nello stesso luogo (cf At 2,1): non sono dispersi, non stanno lavorando ciascuno per se stesso, ma si ritrovano, forse per condividere coraggiosamente quello che stanno vivendo.

They do not defend themselves and do not separate. Staying in the same place means ceasing to wage war against each other, inhabiting together what we hold dear. They are in the same project, in the same desire, in the same dream.


L’immagine dello Spirito descritta in questo testo è quella di uno stesso fuoco che si divide, una stessa sorgente, da cui ciascuno riceve.

The Spirit is where we desire share, where no one keeps to themselves, where we recognize each other sons of one himself father, dove mettiamo insieme quello che abbiamo, le nostre risorse, le nostre conoscenze, i nostri doni.

Putting together and sharing is a courageous act and for this reason not so frequent. We usually tend to seek our own self-interest.


The effect of the Spirit is the Communion because the disciples manage to make themselves understood even though they speak different languages. Not by chancecommunicateisCommunionhave the same root:cum-munus, bring together amunus, which is both a gift and a responsibility.

Il segno della comunione è il successo della comunicazione: parliamo la stessa lingua, cioè riusciamo a capirci, perché abbiamo nel cuore lo stesso desiderio.

Quando la comunione si spezza, non ci si capisce più, si diventa estranei.

If we think about it, what breaks communion is everything that does not come from the Spirit: we are no longer able to understand each other when everyone is only looking for their own reasons, when we try to trick the other, when we hide behind our prejudices.

Forgiveness fruit of the Spirit

Conversely, the text of theGospel of Johnreminds us that where there islove, as Saint Augustine said, there can be no fear (cfConfessionsI,14): when Jesus he is in the midst of the community and gives the Spirit, the doors of the cenacle begin to open, certainly not immediately, but it is the beginning of a journey.

And the fruit of the Spirit, tells us theGospel of John, è la capacità di perdonare: lo Spirito è pace.

Se non perdoniamo, tratteniamo presso di noi il male, il rancore, la rabbia. Perdonare vuol dire lasciar andare.

It is a liberation not only for the one who is forgiven, but also for the one who forgives. The Spirit is where there is forgiveness.

The elusive

Spirit is like wind (At 2,2) e come soffio (Gv 20,22), è inafferrabile. Ne sentiamo gli effetti, ma non possiamo né afferrarlo, né trattenerlo.

The Spirit blows where he wants, we can invoke him, wait for him, create the conditions to welcome him, but he always surprises us with his presence.

In our lives we can choose whether to invoke the presence of the Spirit or whether we want to continue throwing apples at other people's banquets just because we weren't invited!

Read inside

  • Am I a person who creates communion or who brings discord?
  • Where can I recognize the action of the Holy Spirit in me and around me?

Courtesy © ♥ Father Gaetano Piccolo SJ

The Gospel of the day
Il Vangelo del giorno
There is no peace!
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Ciao, sono Remigio Ruberto, papà di Eugenio. L'amore che mi lega a Eugenio è senza tempo e senza spazio.

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