The Deep End – ‘Shalom’
The disciples in today’s Gospel are locked away, living in fear. There are many situations in our own lives which cause us to batten down the hatches. We can often imprison ourselves.
Jesus appears amongst them bringing peace, Shalom, and overcoming their defences. Christ is always present to us regardless of the walls we might put up; he offers peace, joy and reconciliation. The word ‘Shalom’ is more than a wish for a good evening; it means that your wish for the person is a peace of body, mind and spirit. It is a holistic peace. Jesus gives this peace to the disciples and breathes his Spirit upon them. This enables them; this gives them courage; this sends them out. Jesus still bears the wounds of the crucifixion, reminding us that our wounds are part of who we are; we carry them with us.
We might ask ourselves today who it is that we need to be reconciled with? What fears do we need liberating from? Into what situation do we send Christ’s peace? Jesus is asking the disciples to be an unending witness to God’s love. They (and we) must be for others what Jesus has been for them.
‘When we understand the essential unity of all that is, we discover the possibility of “peace” -the king of peace that in Hebrew is called, Shalom, which is infinitely more than an absence of strife; it is the wholeness of the web of life itself and of every creature in it, held in the wholeness of the one God.’ Margaret Silf