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Is Peace More Than a Concept?

A reflection on John 20:19-31.

Have you noticed in the gospel story that Jesus’ followers didn’t recognize him nor rejoice until after he showed them his hands and his side, his flesh and blood?

Today we want to see and touch Jesus, the physical body of Jesus. And we want to see and touch the peace he promised to give. We don’t want just a concept, an abstract idea of Jesus, and of the peace he brings. We want a tangible Jesus that we can see, touch, and hear—seeing, touching, and hearing in a way that brings us peace and brings peace to the world.

But Jesus said, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

You and I have not seen Jesus physically, yet we believe. We need physical experiences of the divine, of God, of Jesus, yet today we can’t feel his side and his hands like Thomas and the other disciples did in the gospel story.

The good news, however, is that the Holy Spirit is in us, the Spirit of Jesus is physically revealed in each of us, such that when we touch each other, we are touching Jesus who lives in us by his Spirit.

You and I are now the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus, and the peace that he brings to us and to the world.

Jesus said to his followers, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said "receive the Holy Spirit."

My friends, every breath we take in our physical body is a moment when we can experience the Spirit of God in us, which we breath out into the world.

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