Reflection on Pentecost Sunday: 31st May 2020

Peace be with you

There are times when our life situation is so overwhelming that we wonder if we will ever experience the peace of Christ which is already within us. Jesus shows us how this is possible when almost immediately after his greeting, “Peace be with you” he speaks about forgiveness.

“Forgiveness reveals three goodnesses simultaneously. When we forgive, we choose the goodness of the other over their faults, we experience God’s goodness flowing through ourselves, and we also experience our own capacity for goodness in a way that almost surprises us. We are finally in touch with a much Higher Power, and we slowly learn how to draw upon this Infinite Source. The Spirit within us creates an unrelenting desire toward forgiveness and reconciliation. True Spirit-led forgiveness always frees and heals at least one of the parties involved, and hopefully both. To live in peace we need to extend forgiveness not only to all people but also to everything. We need to forgive reality for being what it is. Forgiving everything for being what it is becomes the only way we can finally live at peace.” [1]

“I’ve come to see that the deepest source of my misery is not wanting things to be the way they are. Not wanting myself to be the way I am. Not wanting the world to be the way it is. Not wanting others to be the way they are. Whenever I’m suffering, I find this war with reality to be at the heart of the problem. The answer to anxiety lies in focusing my attention upon that which is greater than those things about which I feel anxious. As I learn to rest and trust in the faithfulness of God, the anxious knots of my life begin to untangle. It begins to be possible to meet each day, not with fear and uncertainty, but with openness, acceptance and surrender.” [2]

Eckhart Tolle differentiates between our life situation and our life. “Underneath the various conditions that make up our life situation – which exists in time – there is something deeper, more essential: our Life, our very Being in the timeless Now. Only through surrender do we have access to it. Surrender is to relinquish inner resistance to what is.” This is the only way we can finally live in peace

Adapted: [1] Richard Rohr [2] Stephen Cope

John 20:19-23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then 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.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”