‘The very first Easter was spent in self-isolation,’ my friend pointed out to me the other day. John 20.19 (appropriately enough, as the year our virus emerged) has the disciples locked in a room, fearful to go out. But Jesus defies the lockdown: appearing among them in spite of their closed doors, stands among them and says, ‘Peace be with you’. I pray that this is what you will experience today.
Three verses later (and in contravention of all government health advice), Jesus ‘breathed on them, and said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20.22). Let’s all pray to receive that same Holy Spirit afresh today, because St Paul promises us that: ‘if the Spirit of Him-who-raised-Jesus-from-the-dead dwells in you, then He-who-raised-Jesus-from-the-dead will also give life to your mortal bodies, through His Spirit, who dwells in you’ (Romans 8.11).