Pentecost Sunday | Year B
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
This time of year is so spectacular. The leaves on the trees turn their beautiful bright colours and then shed them creating a carpet of colour. The trees then lie dormant until the Spring when they burst forth with new growth. During this dormant time something is happening but we can’t quite see what it is.
In today’s Gospel the disciples were hidden away behind closed doors. They were afraid. No doubt their hearts felt heavy with trepidation, fear, angst, possibly even anger. Here they were…..left to their own devices after having trusted someone who now by all intents and purposes had left them to fend for themselves. They must have been thinking what on earth did we do that for? Rather than facing what was out there they chose to close the door on it. To remain isolated in hope that they would be safe.
But as always, Jesus, turns all their ideas upside down. At their lowest ebb he is there with them.
For us as well, just like the disciples, it may seem that in our darkest moments God is not present. But just like the trees even though it appears that nothing is happening, something is unfolding.
There is something special in the greeting Jesus gives: Peace be with you. I doubt whether any of the apostles felt peace at all. Yet it is a reminder to all his apostles of what he had tried to tell them: My peace I leave you.
Just as the tree remains peaceful throughout the changing seasons, we too are called to remain at peace throughout all the ebbs and flows of life. Doing this will indeed as we hear in the psalm, “Renew the face of the earth.”