Sunday, April 3, 2016

Reflection: John 20:19-31

Second Sunday of Easter – John 20:19-31

On this Second Sunday of Easter, we read that Jesus’ disciples were gathered together.  Despite the fact that the disciples knew that Jesus had risen, John writes that they “had locked the door of the room, for fear of the Jews.”  They were terribly frightened of the Jews! Most likely they were worried that they might have to die as Jesus did, even though none of them had been harassed or accosted since Jesus’ death.  Despite that fact, they continued to be fearful, not joyful.

Then Jesus appeared in their midst.  Did Jesus’ appearance bring peace and joy to their hearts or were they confused and frightened?  Jesus addressed the disciples with the simple words: “Peace be with you.” When the disciples heard Jesus’ greeting, did peace begin to fill their hearts? As they began to grasp the reality that Jesus was with them once again, were they filled with joy and wonder? Jesus truly was present in their midst. What a wondrous gift!

Remember a time in your life when you were fearful and sad and felt lost and alone. Perhaps you experienced a significant loss or change in your life or were struggling with a painful situation. At that time, it would be a great gift if Jesus had suddenly appeared to you and said: “Peace be with you.”

When we feel lost and alone, we may not have a clear sense that Jesus is with us!  Typically, we do not see Jesus appear to us.  However, at that point in your life, was there any sense of Jesus’ presence with you?  Did you experience the gift of strength from your faith in Jesus? Perhaps your faith and your belief enabled you to keep on going.

Jesus is always with us, gifting us and gracing us; however, we may not tangibly experience Jesus with us.  Jesus walks with us daily. Do we believe and trust that reality?  Even if we have a sense of Jesus’ presence, we may want proof  that Jesus is with us, just as Thomas did. Today if we sense Jesus is near us and with us, may we trust and believe that Jesus also has appeared to us. May we have open minds and open hearts. Jesus will come to us today!

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