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 by Brother Richard Galvin, FSC – Auxiliary Visitor
PEACE BE WITH YOU
“Peace be with you.” I have long been struck by these words of Jesus in John’s Gospel. These four simple but powerful words strung together have the ability to heal for those on the receiving end.
So often, we witness many in our world who want us to do what they say but who do not give witness through action. Jesus is a man of conviction. He returns to the disciples practicing what he preached. “Peace be with you.” He greets them compassionately, and they rejoice. He repeats his greeting, commissioning and empowering them to go forth walking in His footsteps as He has walked among them. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
As we experience the feast of Pentecost in 2018, are we ready to continue to be sent forth as disciples? Yes, we are ready to continue to respond to the invitation of the Gospel. This willingness and witness, however, do not come without their challenges. The daily grind dictates that there will be times when “Peace be with you,” will be the farthest thought or feeling from our minds and hearts. Pentecost reminds us that, just as God sent Jesus into the lives of his disciples, God sends us into the lives of those with whom we interact, no matter how difficult or challenged their lives may be. Our faith reminds us that God gives us all we need through the power of the Holy Spirit. St. La Salle echoed this in his meditation for the feast of Pentecost when he said, “You carry out a work that requires you to touch hearts, but this you cannot do except by the Spirit of God.”
As we begin to flesh out the strategic plan for our District, four pillars await us (Brothers Vocation, Association, Service of the Poor, and Evangelization). We are reminded it was the Pentecost Spirit that inspired the disciples to continue walking in Jesus’ footsteps. St. La Salle refers to that same spirit when he speaks of touching hearts. In his pastoral letter this past Christmas, Br. Robert Schieler reminded the Brothers to “Set Out in Haste.” Paraphrasing, he reminds us to be Lasallians of hope, Lasallians who invite young men to become De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lasallians who encourage colleagues to associate to keep the Lasallian mission alive, and Lasallians willing to go out and meet the poor.
Recently, I read a story in Bulletin 257 for February 2018. It was written by a young African girl named Grace. She reflected the story of losing both her parents to AIDS and how she along with her brothers and sister were abandoned by family and friends. She became an orphan and lived on the street. One day, a man took pity on her and brought her to the Child Discovery Centre in Nakuru, Kenya. Grace defined him as a good man who was a Lasallian Brother and explained how his act of kindness has allowed her to dream again. I was pleased this Good Samaritan was only identified as a Lasallian Brother. He symbolizes each of us and the Pentecost Spirit that lives within us. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
“Peace Be With You!”