The apostles were afraid and alone, isolating themselves from the world, but Jesus appeared to them anyway.
After Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, most of his apostles scattered, afraid of suffering the same fate. Peter went so far as to deny he knew Jesus in order to avoid being captured.
They were afraid, uncertain about the future and having doubts about Jesus as the messiah. Instead of resuming their normal lives, they distanced themselves from normal social gatherings and chose to go on “lockdown.”
Is the weariness and anxiety of isolation getting to you?
During their anxiety, Jesus appeared to them and offered them peace.
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.” (John 20:19)
Even after this first encounter with the Risen Jesus, the apostles continued their “lockdown” until Jesus appeared a second time.
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.” (John 20:26)
Whenever we feel alone and isolated, maybe even on “lockdown” or quarantine, we should read again this passage from the Gospels and place ourselves in the scene.
Imagine, for a few minutes, yourself in this locked room the apostles are in. They are all expressing feelings of worry and anxiety, stressed-out by the events that just took place.
In the midst of all this anxiety, Jesus walks through their locked doors and enters into the room. His first words, before any type of greeting, are “Peace be with you.”
Jesus brings peace to those in lockdown, he wants to calm our hearts and ease our worries. He knows we are afraid and offers to us his peace.
All we need to do is accept his gift of peace into our closed and locked hearts. That is one thing we need to open during times of isolation. Our hearts need to open wide to his love and peace, allowing Jesus to dwell within it, reassuring us that he is in control, no matter what is happening outside in the world.
How contemplation can lead to peace during the COVID-19 crisis