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“In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them.

He said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’”

John 20:19

Transformation, whether it be personal or on a wider societal scale, represents a fundamental change that fuels a new direction. During this Easter season, the Gospels narrate encounters of the resurrected Jesus with his disciples. The Risen One, often unrecognizable at first, offers them profound peace as they walk the roads of their unfolding faith journeys.

Amidst fear and doubt, alongside grief and pain, their locked rooms and hearts are opened to their Lord and God. As Christ ate with them, taught them, breathed the Holy Spirit on them, these followers were being shaped into witnesses. Indeed, the resurrection brought transformation that set their lives in an entirely new direction.

And what about us? In our own day, Pope Francis calls for witnesses. His address from St. Peter’s Square on May 18, 2013, for example, expresses a contemporary need for those who will “speak” the Gospel message with their entire lives.

Now as then, may “Peace be with you” ring in our ears. May these words transform our doubts, and affirm our direction once again as Gospel witnesses. Jesus Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Sister Joanne Buckman, OSU