Acts 2:1-11; Psalms 104:1,24,29-30,31,34; I Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13; John 20:19-23
Today we recall the situation of that first Christian Community on the day after the Resurrection. We see a little band of disciples huddled together in a locked room not knowing what to believe. They fear the worst at the hands of Jesus’ enemies, but hope for the best as the news of Easter Sunday begins to sink in. Suddenly, Jesus is in their midst and, in John’s words, “the disciples rejoiced.” And it was in that context of joy and celebration that Jesus gives them their commission, saying, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent Me, so am I sending you” (Jn. 20:21). And after He had said this, He breathed on them, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn. 20:22).
The Biblical word for peace is “Wholeness.” There is a kind of peace that can be achieved by isolating ourselves from conflict. Such a peace is an achievement; the Peace of Christ is a gift. Such a peace is precarious; the…