On Easter Sunday, we celebrated Christ's Resurrection from the dead. Death itself could not keep our Lord from us; the tomb could not contain nor isolate his love.
In our Scriptures this Sunday, we read that it is fear that stands between the disciples and the Lord. We hear that on the evening of the day of the resurrection, the disciples gathered together in a room with locked doors, "for fear of the Jews". It was this fear that had caused them to flee on the night of his arrest.
Today, many years later we may be experiencing some of that same fear - not of those of the ancient world who were averse to Jesus and his message - but fear of the virus and perhaps even of sickness and death itself. Just as then the tomb could not keep Jesus in and the locked doors could not keep him out, we experience the same phenomenon.
As Jesus comes and stands in their midst, he says, "Peace be with you!" Even behind our locked doors today, even in our quarantine and isolation, he says the same. His resurrection brings us many gifts, not the least of which is peace.
Although these weeks have been difficult, and anxiety producing for many of us, I believe that we are starting to see glimmers of hope; conversations about antibody testing, planning for the eventual re-opening of society, reduced hospital admissions and lessening of the burdens of those who have cared for the sick and dying. These are instruments of his peace - meant for you and me.
In the readings this Sunday, after Jesus gives the disciples his peace, he then gives them a mission: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Freed from their fear, the disciples are then called to bring his peace to others. You and I are called to do the same!
Please take a moment this week to reach out to someone, particularly someone who may be sick, elderly, living alone, or someone prone to worry and anxiety. Talk with them. Pray with them. Use the grace in your heart to give them the peace of the Lord.
This Easter season will give us many opportunities to be his disciples. Seize them because the world needs us more now than ever!