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Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.

Today's Gospel: John 20:19-23

When my kids were small, I would spend a great deal of time finding the perfect gift -- only to have them fascinated with the box or even the wrapping. Shiny ribbons and hours of play awaited the extra gift outside of the true gift given. Creating pint-sized replicas of castles and forts to defend the fiercest attacker or to house their greatest treasures, they would await to discover the gift within later.

A couple of years ago, while visiting the Holy Land, I stood in the spot believed to have been the upper room where the risen Christ appeared. In reading this passage here, I could only imagine the awe, trembling, and joy at the sight before their eyes and of the gift of the Spirit.

Growing up Baptist, I had always heard others long and pray for the gift of speaking in tongues, ability to heal, or visible gifts of the Spirit that had been given to the disciples that day. Still I wondered if this might be, for some, a case of being more focused on the wrapping, rather than the true gift that these signs bear witness to: Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation.

Yet, several times in my life I have witnessed the Spirit’s work and the gift of holy tears and tongues preceding the reception of God’s mercy and forgiveness. A beautiful thing to behold, the once solidly constructed walls of self and sin cannot help but crumble in the midst of God’s merciful love. It is then, when paired with a contrite heart and reconciliation, we experience true peace and witness the Good News that salvation is in our midst. As disciples of the risen Christ, let’s not be content with just the upper room experience without also being willing to be transformed, called, and sent.



Are there places in my life that I am seeking merely the consolation and fruits of the Spirit without the work that is to follow?



Lord, you call me in this moment to shed all that is holding me back from receiving Your love and forgiveness today. I know that following You also means making changes in my life and being willing to share the joy that this transformation entails.


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As disciples of the risen Christ, let's not be content with just the upper room experience: be willing to be transformed, called, and sent. #daily


Copyright 2021 Elizabeth Reardon