April 8, 2018 – Pastoral Impressions by Fr. Bill

The disciples were quite fearful after Jesus’ death. Gathered together they stayed behind locked doors. Suddenly Jesus came and stood in their midst. “Peace be with you,” he said. Imagine how this greeting changed their fear. John says they rejoiced. Their joy was not just returned but was renewed.
When Jesus stood in the midst of the disciples he brought them peace. Peace of heart and not just rest. This peace the risen Christ brings gives courage and confidence, and this is exactly what the disciples need. Jesus says again, ”Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” In these simple words Jesus commissions his disciples to go and proclaim the Gospel with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Just as the disciples had their joy in Jesus restored, they also experienced a new birth. They are reborn as God’s children. Their lives are transformed. And what about us today? After all we are also sons and daughters of God. Has Easter brought us new joy? Are we transformed? Have we even thought of what Easter brings us?
The first disciples of Jesus, the new Christians, entered into communion. This union was like a family. Everything they owned was kept in common. Everyone in need had those needs met. “The community of believers was of one heart and one mind. . . they had everything in common.” That is amazing. Together they knew what to do as God’s sons and daughters.
Our duty, our challenge, our gift is to make the resurrection of Jesus the Christ believable to others. How do we do that? Today each of us and all of us need to observe our world and see how we can give signs of life to others. We can do this together and we can do this alone, but we must do it as sons and daughters of God. After all, the love of God and the love of God’s children are inseparable. The first community of Christians, by sharing everything they owned so that no one was in need, showed signs of life, of resurrection to each other and to all who observed them.

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