And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn. 20:19-23)
You're in a room fearing for your life because you're associated with someone or something that is against the "norm." How are you feeling at that moment outside of the obvious fear? Being the over-thinker I am, I am trying to strategize my next moves, mainly how I can stay alive: where can I go and who can I trust? Some of the disciples were probably having some of these same thoughts as I have. The answer is given in today's scripture:
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. John 20:19-23.
Even in our most vulnerable moments, God already has the plan worked out. We are given the other part of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to support us.
Jesus is sent to calm and provide us, the disciples and people today, with their next steps and the Holy Spirit to complete those steps. Jesus appears to confirm the tasks God sent Him to complete and to let the disciples know that he is still with them. More importantly, the message to bring others to God is not over with his death. Jesus also provides the disciples and us with support for this job by breathing the Holy Spirit into us.
I am reminded that even in my worst times, when I can be lost in what is going on around me or within myself, God's plan includes Jesus and the Holy Spirit, my support team. They will be with me along this journey of life. As I go on each day, there are days that I will allow my fear to take over, but I need to remember that not only is Jesus always with me, but I've also received the Holy Spirit that will help me to tell others that God is real and loves you.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. (Jn. 14:16).
"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. (Jn. 15:26).
Send forth your [Holy] Spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the earth. (Ps. 104:30).
Author: Christina Jones, Member of St. Teresa of Avila, Washington D.C.