“They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’”

Luke 24:36

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Luke 24:35-48

The disciples have, for days after the resurrection, locked themselves up physically in fear. They are unsure of what life holds for them after Jesus’ death. They are traumatised by the events that took place and now have to face the rumour that Jesus is risen. They feared that the authorities who put Jesus to death would come after them. While locked in that upper room, Jesus comes in and speaks words of peace.

At times we too are afraid. The physical barriers we see around us – walls and fences – can be a metaphor for the emotional and psychological barriers we put up when we feel lonely or afraid. Many people, after traumatic experiences, lock themselves up or lock their feelings up inside them. Depression can be a result of locking up and shutting down our hearts from others.

Each of us experiences being shut up or locked down psychologically and emotionally at some point in our lives when something happens that shocks or hurts us. We do not want to speak. We isolate ourselves.

We may also have loved ones or friends who are shut up or locked up. They too do not want to speak. They isolate themselves.

At these times, we need to remember that Jesus can move through the barriers we put up. Jesus can move through the walls of our hearts and minds and, if we take the time to listen, will say to us, “Peace be with you”.

The Lord invites us today to listen to the words of peace that he speaks inside our hearts. He invites us to break through so many of the things that plague our society today and say “Peace be with you” to those who desperately need to hear these words.

Take time to hear Jesus say, “Peace be with you” in your heart. Ask yourself: who can I speak a word of peace to today?

Lord Jesus,

You do not speak harsh words or condemning words to your fearful disciples.

You speak words of peace.

Help me to hear the words of peace that you speak in my heart and, in turn, help me to speak words to others who need to hear them today.

Amen.

 
Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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