Readings: Acts 2: 14a, 22-32, Psalm 16, John 20: 19-31
The whole world has either been behind locked doors for fear of the Corona virus or is busy hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Corona virus and in the middle of the virus Jesus appears to those behind locked doors and says “Peace be with you!”. If it is not the virus we are hiding from; there are many other things we are all hiding from physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We hide from commitment, we hide from mending relationships, we hide from issues of justice because it may seem insurmountable to us. We hide from God, we hide from each other, we hide from the truth and learn how to pretend, whether we know what the truth is or not. In that moment of silence, Jesus appears to each of us and says “Peace be with you!”
The disciples are gathered together behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. The Jews put Jesus to death and the Jews will put those who followed Jesus to death. The news that death could not take Jesus has not made the transition to their hearts yet because even if they have heard it, they have not made sense of what it means for them. They have heard the news from the Angels, they have heard the news from Mary, they have heard the news from the travellers who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, but somehow it is still too surreal to believe. There is hope but they are too afraid to hope in case their hopes are dashed against the reality of life and death. In the middle of their wrestling with truth, reality, probability; Jesus appears amongst them and says “Peace be with you!”.
Jesus’ peace does not take away the threat of the Jews, it does not take away the broken relationships, it does not take away the injustice, it does not take away the virus, but it does give us a moment to breathe deeply, rearrange our perspectives and our priorities and it enables us to make better decisions. Even more than that, it gives us a moment of peace in which we become aware that God has not deserted us, but that He is with us and He always has been. When we reject that peace, we enter into a spiral of darkness and sow destruction, despair, and inequality. When we chose not to receive that peace and that moment of clarity; we sow chaos and anarchy and everything that seeks to steal, kill and destroy.
As we take this moment to receive the peace that Jesus gives to us, we also take a moment to become aware of the Spirit of God who has always been present and has always been guiding and has always been leading us to mend relationships, to bring justice, to curb every single virus that brings death into our lives by the power of His healing love and leading us to dwell in the presence of God always.
This is the real miracle that takes place when Jesus appears to the disciples on the first day and it is the real miracle of this moment. The virus is not from God but it is a moment in which we become aware of God, it is a moment in which we become aware of our mortality and of what is important to us. It is in these moments, when everything has been stripped away and those things that have been blinding us to the essential life have been forcibly removed, that we are able to look into the face of Holiness and know why we exist. Receive the peace that Christ gives you in this moment and stare into the face of Holiness. Let this moment of peace become the peace you live.