Gospel – John 20:19-23

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.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
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.”

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

My first thoughts of the Gospel on Pentecost are that of my students. This reading will take place shortly after graduation and this graduation will have me see the first students I taught at SJC heading off to their next steps in life. I cannot think of how proud I am of the young men and young women I have seen transformed before my very eyes.

I think it would be easy to see myself as Christ sending them off and telling my students how I will always be there for them and how the Holy Spirit will be there for them to guide them, but that simply would not be true. It is true that I love and care for my students as Christ does, and I believe they are set on the right path. I am the one of the apostles, locked into the room scared to receive my own gifts, my own calling and my own spirit. I am scared that I have not done enough for my students. I always find myself wishing I could have taught one more lesson about the gospels or about life; said one more kind word to them; asked one more question about who they are as a person to remind them how loved and cared for they are. All of these things run through my mind as I prepare myself to see them graduate from SJC. Despite of all my fears and self-doubts I am reminded of the words of our founder when he reminds us to see Christ in everyone of our students. In remembering that, I see my students coming through the locked door as Christ did. They are constantly reminding me of the gifts I have and all I do to offer them to not just my students but also all people that I encounter. Seeing them so joyful and reflecting on the lessons they have learned reminds me of all the good I have done and all the good my gifts and spirit drive me to do. With their kind words and actions, they breathe into me the Holy Spirit that will always keep me restless but also joyful in the sense that I have many wonderful gifts. They were the ones who unlocked the door and allowed me to share it with all people.

Mr. Spencer Macklin
St. John’s College High School – Washington, DC

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.