Christ is alive! And those who keep him in the center belong to his community. They have the breath of the Holy Spirit and are true to their mission.
Peter and the other disciple saw, and the latter believed besides. Mary Magdalen also told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he had said to her. Still, the community is fearful and so hides in the dark. In a house with locked doors. It needs the Lord.
So, the one Savior comes to help and offer also a new beginning, meant by the first day of the week. And he comes in in a way they do not expect and cannot explain. Standing in their midst, he is again in the center of his community.
Jesus sends his community to spread mercy and forgiveness, breathing on it the Holy Spirit.
Having him in the center, the followers of Jesus cannot miss him wish them peace. He forgives them, yes, for leaving and betraying him. There is no mention of it even, no blame; he frees them of a heavy burden. And he reassures them. They rejoice, then, as they see the one who cannot be other than he. The marks of the nails in his hands, and of the spear in his side, show that it is he.
They must feel happier and more at ease, for again he wishes them peace. Besides, he sends them to spread peace and forgiveness. This shows he forgives them wholeheartedly. Moreover, he still trusts those who have been less than true.
Then, Jesus breathes on them the Holy Spirit, equipping them for the task ahead. The Spirit, in turn, makes them brave, so they go and die with Jesus. As Thomas bade them before to do. He is the only one of the eleven who is not with them as the risen Christ appears to them for the first time. The Spirit emboldens them to preach the kingdom and righteousness of God.
Also, the Spirit sets the community on the right path, so it follows Jesus and does not wander about. The Spirit teaches the disciples everything, reminds them of all Jesus told them, and leads them to all truth.
And the Spirit breathes into the community a living hope and calls back the risen Christ to its midst. So, those who believe know that “darkness and death do not have the last word.” And they go back to Galilee, to the outskirts. There they regain the spirit of devotion to the Word, to prayer and the breaking of bread, to communion and service.
Lord Jesus, make of us who believe without seeing a community “that goes forth,” with “a few accidents” even. Give us the breath of your Spirit. We will thus keep you in the center, knowing what you would do if you were in our place (SV.EN XI:314). And we will preach the Good News joyfully and boldly.
19 April 2020
Second Sunday of Easter (A)
Acts 2, 42-47; 1 Pt 1, 3-9; Jn 20, 19-31