Prayer: Jesus, breathe upon me and send your Holy Spirit.
Imagination: (Picture the Risen Jesus appearing to the fearful disciples.)
Jesus comes to the frightened disciples on Easter Sunday night. This is “John’s Pentecost”, because Jesus bestows the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, Luke speaks of the disciples praying in tongues. John’s gospel goes deeper. Having received the Spirit, the apostles will be able to forgive sins.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Late that same day, the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together, the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be to you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Therefore, he said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I send you. Having said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, are forgiven them. Whose sins you retain, are retained.”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus will use these disciples as the church’s foundation.
- Filled with fear, they are not ready for the task.
- They lock the doors. How could they go out to all the world?
- How they need Jesus!
- Jesus’ body has new qualities. He now comes through locked doors.
- He is the same Jesus of Nazareth with wounds in his hands and side.
- Seeing Jesus has immediate effects. Joy replaces fear.
- Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you.” Reestablish a relationship broken by the apostles running away.
- He breathes on them (as God breathed life into Adam) and gives them God’s Holy Spirit.
- They share Jesus’ greatest power. They, too, can take away the sins of the world.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, please come. I am filled with so many fears.
- You are risen. You can come anywhere. Come, Lord Jesus.
- Jesus, say your special words in my heart, “Peace be with you.”
- Show me your wounds, and I will know it is you.
- Breathe on me, Jesus, and I will have eternal life.
- Send me. I will go to the whole world.
- Thank you for a Church which can forgive my sins, Jesus. They are so numerous.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will use the sacrament of Confession frequently.
- I will ask Jesus for his Holy Spirit.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”