Gospel John 20: 19-31
"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."
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name."
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit
"PEACE BE WITH YOU." Jesus comes to the disciples, behind their locked doors, bolted shut from fear, the disciples are shuddering and shaking from every knock on the door, every unrecognized voice, every odd time of day that someone comes...they stiffen and listen carefully out of fear. That 'stiffness' is so contrary to the heart that loves and lives in Love. Fear does terrible things to the human heart. It binds it, 'arrests it' stifles it, chokes the life out of us. We are not meant to live this way. Fear is the opposite of Love. We are meant to live in Love. And so Jesus comes...He comes into their midst, comes into the 'middle of it all' as He does with us. Jesus doesn't wait until we 'have a grip on things'- NO! HE comes in the mess of it all, because he knows that fear so immobilizes the human heart, that we need his very presence, His Word, to unlock us, to unlock the door of our hearts. What fears are attacking your peace of heart, choking the life of Love out of you. Keep your eyes on Jesus, watch Him. He comes right before you, in your room, in your midst. Watch Him and listen to Him: He says, "Peace be with you." Listen to the tenderness in His voice, look into His eyes, He who IS PEACE. What frightens you? Tell Him. Allow Him to look at your wounds, but first look at His, see that it is Him, these wounds have conquered your wounds. Be with Jesus, hear Him say; "Peace be with you." Allow His words to rest on you, and to accomplish what they say.
Sit with Jesus or take a walk with Him, as we did here in this picture on our Silent Expedition Retreat for High Schoolers', we took a Solo Hike along the shores of Lake Michigan, at Whitefish Dunes in Jacksonport WI. It was so beautiful- Allow Jesus to show you, who He is in your life-Mercy has a face, and it is the face of Jesus!