This Sunday, we move from the empty tomb to the locked room, filled with frightened, devastated disciples.
We must imagine that their hearts are broken. Their hope is shattered. They had been following this Jesus for years. He had promised so much and they just watched it all come to a screeching halt — a devastating end — on a cross. They are grieving a loss.
But the scripture also tells us that they were afraid. Afraid of the Jewish authorities. Afraid that they might also be persecuted. Afraid that they might be next.
But their fear and their sadness might have gone even deeper below the surface. All the way to shame. Shame that they hadn’t protected Jesus from death. Shame that they had turned their heads. Shame that the movement had failed.
Into that darkness, Jesus appeared. The risen Christ!
And once he stood among them, he said, “Peace be with you.”
Peace be with you.
That room needed nothing more than the peace that Jesus offered.
We have spent the season of Lent with the Prayer of Saint Francis that invited us to be “Open to Peace.” In this moment, the Sunday after Easter, we find that Jesus breathes a word of peace onto his disciples. This Sunday, we will begin to exhale the same hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness that was holding those disciples captive. And we will inhale love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy. We will breathe in deeply, taking in that peace offered by the risen Lord.
Breathe on me, breath of God.
See you Sunday!
Wondering what the Easter Season is in the liturgical calendar? Click here for a brief and helpful explanation!