June 4, 2017: Pentecost Sunday
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.” (John 20:19-23)
The disciples locked the doors “for fear of the Jews” and Jesus came to them in the midst of their fearful situation. He offered peace and showed them the wounds in his hand and his side as a reminder of the fears he must have encountered during his crucifixion.
Suddenly, their fear was changed to joy when Jesus, realizing their fear was linked to guilt felt for having abandoned him, forgave them. Not only did he forgive them, but he breathed the Holy Spirit upon them and gave them the power to forgive the sins of others.
When we find ourselves in a fearful situation, let us turn to Jesus and ask him to bring peace to it. Let us be quick to offer forgiveness to others and strive to be a peaceful presence to all.