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.’
Gospel for Mass on Pentecost Day
At the end of the day of Resurrection, after the appearance to Mary of Magdala; after her witness to the disciples; after John and Peter have been to the tomb and seen, and believed – the disciples are still locking themselves into the upper room, for fear of the Jews.
How resistant, they and we are, to the good news that the Lord is risen, and to the knowledge that there is no reason for us to fear.
But the Lord come and sets them free, and empowers them for ministry…
So too with us?
Door Panel from Church of the Virgin, Cairo. in the collection of the British Museum. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.