19 It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”
24 Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”
26 After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”
28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”
Fear turns to joy. Doubt turns to belief. The loving presence of the Lord transformed the emotional of state of the disciples on the evening following the Resurrection and he can do the same for us whenever we are anxious or afraid. Through his loving presence, he brings a sense of peace which removes all dis-ease and calms all worries.
Have you ever held a newborn that simply cannot stop crying? Sometimes an infant will get themselves so wound up that it seems nothing will calm them. You try to feed them, you burp them, you change them, you rock them, you sing to them, you put them down, you pick them up, and the child screams more loudly. Then someone with more experience takes over and the child calms down, starts to smile and eventually falls sound asleep.
On the day of Resurrection, I imagine the emotions of the Disciples may have been somewhat like a newborn baby. They had every right to be in panic mode. When the Lord appeared among them and offered the reassuring words, “peace be with you,” they not only calmed, they rejoiced! Like a parent who can finally communicate “PEACE” to their newborn child, Jesus offered “PEACE” to his Disciples.
By Kathleen Stolz
For Pondering & Prayer
As the weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic drag on, it’s easy for us to give into our fears and anxieties. Like babies, we just want to cry and have someone make everything all better. We want God to make this all go away! Even Jesus knew as he hung on the cross that God doesn’t work like that. There are some things in life that we just must go through, knowing that God is with us and that new life awaits us on the other side. We cannot know what our new life will be like, but we pray that we will be more caring, more respectful, and more loving of one another. That prayer can only be fulfilled if we all work together to make it so.
With joy and love, let us proclaim to one another the greeting we say each week: “The peace of Christ be with you!” “And also with you!”