Jesus gives His peace and sends out the Holy Spirit in John 20:19-23. Can we share our peace and the spirit of our love with others as Jesus did?
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.”
Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, commemorating the day when Our Lord shared with the disciples the Holy Spirit. It came at a moment of rejoicing.
“Peace be with you,” He said. I imagine it being a very calm and loving voice. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you,” I imagine in a very direct and yet softly commanding voice. Then deeply personal to those closest to Him I imagine Him opening up fully to them, breathing on them as He says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Then He gives them the power, the gift, the office of forgiveness or retention of sins.
How does this apply to us? We all have the occasion to receive the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit. We should be prepared to receive it openly as the disciples did that first day. It is a gift from God. Receive the peace of God and His Holy Spirit. But here’s the other thing: We all also have the power to extend God’s peace to others. And we all have the power to forgive others their sins against us. These are powerful gifts to give and to receive.
When you think of the strife in the world, what can be more powerful than telling someone, “Peace be with you” or “Peace of Christ be with you”? Than telling someone who has wronged you, “I forgive you.” All along, Jesus’s message has been to love our neighbors — the others around us. This is a manifestation of that love. To grant peace to others and to forgive them their trespasses against us, even our enemies. And sending His Holy Spirit among us, God inspires us into action to do just that. Are we receptive to Him? Open yourself to Him! And open yourself to others.
Glory to God!
Now a personal aside: This will be my last Reading with God posting for a while. I am scheduled for major surgery this week, with a lengthy recovery and convalescence afterwards. I hope you will look through past postings for inspiration and words of God’s love in His teachings.
I don’t know how long before I will be strong enough to return to my keyboard to share God’s words and reflect on them here. Read the Gospels and remember that Jesus’s core message was about love and embracing others.
Until I return, Peace of Christ Be With You. I love you my brothers and sisters in Christ.