Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reflection: John 20:19-23

Solemnity of Pentecost - John 20:19-23

This Gospel begins by describing how Jesus’ disciples had locked themselves in a room because they were afraid of the Jews.  Imagine this scene.  Here are eleven grown men locked in a fairly small room, fearful of what might happen to them.  So much for Jesus’ brave disciples.
Then Jesus quietly appears in their midst.  Did the disciples blink their eyes wondering if something was wrong with their eyesight?  Did they think they were going crazy when they saw Jesus or did they immediately recognize that this apparition really was Jesus, their beloved friend and teacher?
Jesus said to his beloved friends and disciples: “Peace be with you.”  I suspect that peace may not have been the primary emotion the disciples experienced when they saw Jesus. Rather, I assume that they may have experienced shock, fear, disbelief, astonishment, and perhaps hope.  Did they ask themselves: How could this be?  Can this be real?  Is Jesus truly here with us?
Now, take a moment and hear Jesus say to you: “Peace be with you.”  Then quietly breathe in Jesus’ gift of peace for 3-4 minutes.  Allow Jesus’ peace to envelop you, to fill you for a few minutes.  (Do it, don’t just read the sentence and move on!)

What was your experience?  Did you feel Jesus present with you?  Did you experience a sense of peace within you?  Do you now feel less stressed or worried?  Jesus gives us the gift of peace every day; however, we have to open our hearts and receive His peace. If we do this every day, we may find that we are increasingly more peaceful, joyful, and relaxed.

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