It is important to note that this year we are reading from John. All the Synoptics (i.e. Mt, Mk and Lk) recount the events of Easter and Ascension and Pentecost in chronological order. John wrote much later and was aware of the other three accounts. He sees all the events happening at the moment of the Resurrection.
Jesus came and stood among them and said “Peace be with you”. I have often meditated on the thought: What Jesus could have said!!!!!. This was the moment of Resurrection. After betrayals and denials and desertion, Jesus’ only words are words of peace. “Shalom,” he says!! And he says it again:“Shalom.” Peace.
Last Sunday we read: All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore……Today we read: As the Father has sent me, so…………….The Gift of the Holy Spirit is a consequence of the Father sending Jesus. The breath of Jesus communicates God’s love and Spirit to those gathered in the upper room. They receive the Holy Spirit. They are forgiven, they must forgive others.
We have celebrated the last of the 50 days of Easter. We finish with Pentecost.
This is a great feast for the Church. The Church was born from the side of Christ on Calvary. Today it has a public birthday when the Church goes out of the upper room onto the verandah to proclaim the good news to all the world with power.