Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
In his risen presence Jesus suddenly appears in a room-full of traumatized disciples. Within the last four disorienting days they had agonizingly witnessed his horrendous torture and crucifixion; his body had disappeared from the tomb; Cleopas and Simon had just arrived telling an unbelievable tale of meeting their Master on the road to Emmaus – and now suddenly here is their master standing before them in living, wounded flesh. Is it any wonder that they were terrified? Similarly, is it any wonder that we, now one month into the disorienting global isolation and shutdown due to the covid pandemic, are likewise traumatized, and at some level terrified? How could Jesus say to his disciples, how can Jesus say to us, “Peace be with you,” and “Why are you terrified?” How did Jesus bring (lasting!) peace into the lives of his disciples then and now? First Jesus showed and spoke the truth of his death by crucifixion and the resurrection of his wounded body. Secondly, he grounded the reality of his presence in common life by eating a piece of broiled fish with them. I imagine there was some chatter and laughter as tending to the ordinary needs of the hour swept away the clouds of unknowing. Thirdly, Jesus opened the mind of each of (us) his followers to understand the scriptures that recount story upon story of light putting away darkness, love overcoming violence, and life arising out of deaths of all kinds, and indeed refer to all that was, and is, unfolding. Finally the Risen Christ points to the forgiveness of sins and our collective human return to God, as the ultimate message of all times. Will I remain paralyzed by the trauma of these times, or will I, like the disciples, become witnesses to the peace brokered by Christ Jesus? Risen Christ help me receive your peace.
This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. (Psalm 118:23-24)
Turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord!
Peter the Apostle, Acts 3: 19,20
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.