Sunday, April 12, 2015

Peace be with You

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then 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." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.   John 20:19-31

My mind and heart have been wrapped in the remembering that grief brings. We remember, partly so as to not let the person go. My mother has gone on and yet my heart and mind are still attached to her presence. And in this process I am also aware of the many gifts she gave me. Most of all she taught me to make peace, to be reconciled, to forgive many times over. We honor God and one another when we are forgive, when we reconcile ourselves to our own humanity and the brokenness of us all. I dream of a time when my daughters  know for sure that what I gave them was love demonstrated in forgiveness and making peace.

Today the Gospel recounts the story of Thomas, who had not met Jesus yet and how anxious he was. Not only did Jesus understand his doubt, he knew his fear and confusion. In loving him, he offer him peace. And to all gathered there, he offered them the power of forgiveness and reconciliation - the two things that can instantly transform our world and bring us peace.

Today I ask God to help me be a peacemaker. May we live as those who have loved us well and taught us how to forgive, to make peace, and to bring love into the world.

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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