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2nd Sunday of Easter (Ages 3-6): Be Still and Know

John 20:19-22 (full reading John 20:19-31)


(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)

We know that early in the morning, after Jesus rises from the dead, Mary Magdalene sees Jesus in the garden. He calls her by name and then she knows that he is Risen to new life, never to die again. Jesus tells her to go and tell the disciples, so she does. The Gospel reading for this Sunday begins in the evening of that very same day that Jesus rises from the dead never to die again.

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...

Mary Magdalene has told the disciples the good news, but what do they do?

Do they rejoice? Do they sing Alleluia!?

No. They lock the doors and seem to hide in the house. Why?

Perhaps they think about the cross that Jesus died on.

Perhaps they are afraid that they will die, too.

When the disciples are afraid, what does Jesus do?

Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 

When they are afraid, Jesus comes and stands with them. The Good Shepherd always wants to be with his sheep.

Notice, Jesus is not an angel. When angels appear, we always hear them say, "Do not be afraid." That is a good message, and it would have been enough. But Jesus does not just tell them not to be afraid; he gives them something. He says,

Peace be with you.’

He gives them peace. What is peace?

It might help us to look at the sign language for the word peace.

Two other signs come together to make the sign for peace:

  • the first, when the hands touch each other, means "become."

  • the second, when they spread apart, means "silent" or "still."

Become silent.

Be still.

When the disciples are afraid, when their hearts are pounding so fast, when their tummies feel sick, Jesus gives them peace so that they can be still and know that he is God.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

But Jesus is not finished. He continues to give. We know the Good Shepherd gives abundantly!

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.’

Now he gives them the Holy Spirit who will be with them always.

Now they will never be alone.

But Jesus is still not finished! He continues to give.

At our Baptism, we also receive the Holy Spirit.

We are never alone either!

Even now we can be still...

and know...

that we are never alone.

God is with us.

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