Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. ~John 20: 21-22
We have just journeyed through the 40 days of Lent, Holy Week, the empty tomb, and Easter morning. Easter is behind us, it is finished! I felt a sense of calmness this week, almost like that calm after a storm. But if we are reading the story correctly, we know that Easter is not the end, but the beginning.
Unfortunately, calmness is not what the disciples felt after the crucifixion and resurrection. In John 20, they were consumed with fear and lack of hope after the crucifixion and the experience they had at the empty tomb. Once again, Jesus showed up on the scene. He stood among them and said, “I’m here just like I said I would be. Put aside your fear. Replace it with my peace.” And then Jesus breathed his divine breath upon them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit and get ready to be sent out into the world, just as I have been sent, I send you.”
However, in the next chapter, we find the disciples going back to work, doing what they knew how to do best, and doing what they did before meeting Jesus. They went fishing. They went back to the familiar routine of everyday living as if the previous three years with Jesus were just a fading memory. Sometimes after experiencing a traumatic event as the disciples had, we too are quick to go back to our busy routines, our jobs, our schools, and our meetings.
Jesus showed up once again to the disciples and said, “Follow me.”
Not only did we just revisit the traumatic experience of Easter, but we are also experiencing a modern-day crisis. COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. The first week or so, I was delighted to be in quarantine, but afterward, I started pacing the house, confused. We are ready to put it all behind us and get back to our busy schedule, to what was familiar, and to what feels normal. In the midst of it all, Jesus continues to seek us out, “I’m here just like I said I would be. God is not finished with his story or us. Follow Him, no matter what it takes. Put aside your fear. Replace it with my peace.”
Let Us Pray:
God of Love, thank you for continuously seeking us out when we stray from you, when we fail to see the plans you have for us, and when we want to get back to what’s normal for us. Thank you for peace that passes all understanding, and the Gift of your Holy Spirit that continues to draw us closer to you. Amen.