BREAKING AND ENTERING CHRIST
JESUS LIVES AND BREATHES PEACE
We adore You, O Christ and we praise You!
Because by the Wood of the Cross and the Light of the Resurrection,
You have redeemed the world!
Even though the doors of the Upper Room were bolted shut,
the Risen Lord pierced through all fear
and united the hearts of the disciples with the gift of peace.
READING: "Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them,
'Peace be with you'... 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'" (John 20: 19b, 20b-23).
REFLECTION: The Apostles were not in the most peaceful state
when Easter Sunday dawned.
Not only had they seen Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion,
but they also experienced their own weakness and lack of faith.
Rather than hold on to his promise that he would rise again,
they gave in to fear and doubt.
Scattering at Jesus’ arrest,
they hung back during his trial and crucifixion.
Then they went into hiding,
worried that the authorities would come after them.
By all accounts, they had failed Jesus.
But when Jesus appeared, he didn’t bring up
the painful, embarrassing events of the past few days.
He didn’t even mention them!
Instead, he just wished them peace,
to bring a quiet confidence in the face of their fears.
Immediately after telling the disciples,
“Peace be with you,”
Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. (John 20:21).
Jesus is sending us out,
asking us to treat each other
with the same love that he has shown us.
It’s a mercy that pulls down dividing walls
of hostility, unforgiveness, and prejudice.
It’s a love that empowers us to love each other deeply
and be at peace with one another.
The Risen Lord calls us to seek peace always
through a non-violent commitment to conflict resolution
and thus transform the world, relationship by relationship.
PRAYER: God of perfect peace,
violence and cruelty can have no part of You. May those who are at peace with one another hold fast to the good will that unites them; may those who are enemies forget their hatred and be healed. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God of peace, when I feel overcome by anxiety over things in my reach, but especially over things over which I have no control, help me to lean on You. Quieten the storms that rage in my mind. Calm me down and give me peace in what feels like chaos, and increase my ability to remember that all things are temporary. May I dwell in peace, no matter my circumstance.
O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour.