Gospel Reflection May 28 – Kim VanHuffel
Sunday, May 28
John 20: 19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
The feast of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, brings the Easter season to a close — but really begins the call of the apostles, and each of us, filled with the the Holy Spirit, to go out and live the Good News of the Gospel. And Good News it is! Jesus did not leave us alone. He promised and sent the Paraclete — his own spirit — to be our strength. No matter what the apostles endured in the coming days after leaving the Upper Room, and no matter what trials or suffering we may have today, we can always call on the Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us. “Peace be with you” is what Jesus said when he breathed the Holy Spirit on them. And, as we have also received the Spirit, the Peace of Christ now dwells in our hearts.
But if you are anything like me, you might be asking, then why don’t I FEEL peaceful? Why is there so much depression and anxiety in the world today? The only answer has to be that we need to BELIEVE that God is there in our hearts, with us always, and call our attention to His presence. We need to be kinder to ourselves in order to find the peace and love at our center, which is God, so we can share it with the world. We need to empty ourselves of the worries of the day, even for brief moments of prayer and silence, so we may catch glimpses of what God intends for us. And, we each need to listen to the call of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we can do our “part” within the mystical body of Christ and bring the Good News, the Peace of Christ, and the Love of God to the ends of the earth…or at least to our families and community. Finally, if we read this Gospel passage as a message for us today, and not just historically, we will see that forgiveness has a place in the peace of our hearts as well.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love!