April 29

Reflection

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Shalom.
John 20:19-31

The locked places of our lives are always more about what is going on inside of us than around us. The disciples had locked out faith, hope, and love and entered their own tombs of fear, doubt, and blindness. They had locked themselves in with fear so deep they could not take the risk of stepping outside. Sorrow and loss kept them captive in the tomb of their unbelief. Then Jesus came bringing peace, offering peace, embodying peace, offering new life. Life and peace are the gift of Easter. They do not necessarily change the circumstances of our lives, but they unlock the doors of our fears and enable us to step outside with courage into renewed discipleship.

Prayer

Blessed are those who have believed.

Action

Consider what the closed places of your life are? What is it keeps you in the tomb?

Suggested Reading

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you…

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.
John 20:19-31

Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.
Charles Stanley

Wiping out the fear isn’t what’s important – facing it is.
 Julien Smith

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.
Khalil Gibran

It is not our circumstances on the outside which are our real problem. It is the circumstances on the inside of us, the unbelief in our hearts, which is the cause of our problems.
Vernon McGee

The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.
William Sloane Coffin

Love casts out fear.
Dorothy Day

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.
Rabindranath Tagore

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