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 the Mass of the Day of Pentecost
Did the stomachs of those disciples, joyful at seeing the Lord, sink when they heard him say ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ ?
They had seen him rise to the fullness of the glory of God, triumphing over human vulnerability and sin and death.
They were to be sent on that same journey… No wonder if they had a sinking feeling in their stomachs …
But then the Spirit is gifted, and then they themselves rise to the challenge, overcoming fear and allowing themselves to become as Christ to those to whom they are sent.
Casting. St Peter’s Primacy, Galilee. Photograph (c) 2017, Allen Morris.