I have never forgotten those words and I share them with you as we celebrate this great feast and the close of the Easter season.
From Sunday’s Gospel…
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
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.
Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. Jesus died. He rose. He walked among them. He ascended. It was all quite a lot.
In these days between Ascension and Pentecost, I try to think about the apostles and disciples. Imagine all that they had gone through in these 50 days. Now Jesus has literally been lifted up into heaven.
They did not have a clue what to expect. And what came next were the gifts of the spirit.
They were likely scared witless and confused that night, huddled in that Upper Room. And in comes Jesus – no locked door could keep him out – and he says “peace.” He shows them his wounds, which is completely antithetical to our own culture, as it was His culture!
Then he breathes the wisdom of the spirit upon them all.
No wonder Easter makes us unafraid to die.
And Pentecost makes us unafraid to die!