"The Purifying Power of Oneness"
Nearly five years ago a fire broke out in a certain work place. Had it not been extinguished, it would have caused loss of lives and property. Since the incident, the people who were affected often gathered together and talked about it redundantly. But the person in charge of commanding the firefighting team, conducting the investigation, and reporting to the higher authority in detail was the most affected. It remained a nightmare to him; a nightmare of which he was relieved only when he received a message that the case was closed.
Our Gospel reading this second Sunday of Easter, John 20:19-31, is all about the power of being united. That evening of the first day of the week, the disciples of Jesus were in hiding. The crucifixion of Jesus was not an ordinary event that would be remembered for just an hour or a day. He was abandoned, disowned and even betrayed by His disciples; executed by a punishment that was so painful and shameful; hung on a cross; crowned with thorns; crucified; stripped naked to be seen by everyone; and no one was able to come and comfort even those whom He comforted, healing their sicknesses and disease. After His burial, His very own disciples were in hiding for fear that they might be the next to be reported by the Jews to the authority. Even in hiding, most probably they could not stop from testifying, discussing, and blaming one another for Jesus’ death. Peter, he who had denied Jesus three times, was the one affected most. Very much guilty, He had likely spent two sleepless nights and was only relieved when Jesus appeared to him with the rest of the disciples and forgave him for what he had done. To His two followers who were walking towards Emmaus conversing and discussing with each other what had taken place (Luke 24:13), Jesus also appeared to explain to them all. Every time Jesus appeared to them, He always had something for them to do. Jesus first appeared to Mary and told her to tell His brethren (John 20:17), and the two at Emmaus were so deeply moved they returned to Jerusalem to relate to the eleven their experience (Luke 24:33-36). When He appeared to the eleven, Jesus’ message for them was to send them into all the world to preach the Gospel to all creation, to set people free, to serve Him by the use of spiritual gifts, and to heal the sick (Matt. 28:18,19; Mark 16: 15, 17-18; Luke 24:47; John 20:21).
To us, as the Body of Christ we who were called for the same purpose must not give up bearing with one another, forgiving each other and putting on love, which is perfect bond of unity (Col.3:12-13). For where there is unity, He is in our midst. We have the hope of our salvation because He lives: That is what Easter all about!