Think back several weeks ago, during the Eater season, on a number of occasions the Risen Lord appeared to some of His disciples, to Mary Magdalene and others, and on each occasion His greeting to them was, ‘Peace be with you’. And on many of those occasions because they were so stunned at His appearance that the Risen Lord went on to reassure them with words like, ‘Do not be afraid, it is truly I.’
I went on line and looked up a little information and found that no less than 365 times in the scriptures words came from Jesus like ‘Do not be afraid’, or ‘Peace be with you’. When we stop to think about it perhaps it doesn’t astound us too much because the one thing that Jesus wanted from us is to trust in Him, in all that He spoke to us, taught us and encouraged us was to trust in Him and to be at peace, no matter what.
In the past several months we have had to endure the harsh reality of the pandemic crisis of Coronavirus. It has been frightening and cause for deep concern and perhaps the great worry to many. In spite of that, all the worry and the constant reporting about unimaginable numbers of people becoming the victims of this illness and the numbers of those who have died, Jesus still says to us, ‘Be at peace’, ‘do not be afraid’. Maybe that has seemed like an overwhelming task to deal with. Well, the Lord understands that too.
Yet again, in today’s gospel the same theme is presented us, ‘Fear no one’, ‘Do not be afraid’. In the context of today’s reading Jesus urges us to proclaim to the housetops our trust in Him. Do not be afraid to let everyone know that we believe in Him above all else, even in spite of what is going on in our world today.
When we read in the gospel accounts, whether it is from Matthew’s gospel as today’s reading comes, or from Mark, Luke or John, the most frequently used greeting from the Lord is His wish for peace. In most instances He was speaking this kind of greeting and intending it in a most personal way. He wanted peace and trust in the life of the person He was speaking to. He was always reassuring them not to be fearful but to trust in Him.
Perhaps many of you used part of the time when we were urged to stay home to read the scriptures more. I hope you have done that and continue to do it, it is one of the best ways to come closer to the Lord and in reality, to be at peace with Him and trust Him more fully. Summer vacation time is upon us as well, and maybe this summer it is going to be at least a little different than it has been in the past. Enjoy the beautiful days and weeks of this season and spend at least a little more time getting to know Jesus a little better.