In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
At the end of Easter – the last of the season’s 50 days is this coming Sunday, the feast of Pentecost – we return to the beginning. Again we are with Jesus and the disciples in the Upper Room on the first Easter Day.
We remember the fear of the disciples, shocked by the death of Jesus, shocked by their betrayal and abandonment of him. We remember their joy and wonder at his return to them, and his gifting of Peace and the Holy Spirit.
And we do well to take stock of our own position – how are we as the season of Easter closes? Have we integrated its goodness and promise into our lives and our work? Do we stand at a distance from the truth about the Lord and his salvation?
- Bring your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.
Carving. Notre Dame, Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris