Gospel JN 20:19-31
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."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
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."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Amen.
This passage is so beautiful. We could stop at many places, but I think I will just remain in this passage at a most fundamental place of ‘discernment’ and that is, the nature of Peace. The Peace that comes only from Christ. The Peace that comes only from His presence. Nothing in the whole world can ‘generate’ this Peace, as it is only flowing from the Heart of Jesus-the Prince of Peace. The disciples are behind locked doors, feel the angst, the tension, the dynamic of fear and what its doing to them. Fear is exhausting. The very first word Jesus speaks is the word; “Peace”. He wants them to know this Peace, that it always accompanies His ‘coming’ to us in our lives. We need to know this, in the midst of life’s vicissitudes and sufferings, that there is a very clear distinction of His ‘coming’ when we are docile to the Spirit of God, and that is— Peace.
Can you feel what must have passed through their hearts, to look upon Him and to feel what they felt at the same time, which was an ocean of Peace wash over them. This is the Peace we encounter when we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation and we hear the most comforting words from Jesus through the priest, “I absolve you…”. Peace- This is the Peace we experience when we adhere to the voice of God in our lives, His Will found clearly in His Commandments. This is the Peace we know when in the midst of fear we go deep down in our soul, where God dwells and we commune with Him. This is the Peace we feel when we choose the ‘high road’ of Love. This is the Peace we taste when we hold back an unkind word when attacked. This is the Peace that Jesus alone can give. We need to know Peace, because the enemy cannot give this, he cannot manufacture it, because He has none.
Peace that comes from Christ is a clear discerning sign of Christ’ coming and this is important to distinguish because Jesus’s coming is our Joy, we don’t want to miss that for anything.
Let us Pray on this Great Feast of Divine Mercy, for the grace to live in this Peace of Christ, to know His coming and to always rejoice in His presence in our lives. He is our Peace and Joy, the King of Mercy!
“Jesus said: “I am love and mercy itself; when a soul approaches me with trust I fill it with such an abundance of graces, that it cannot contain them within itself -but radiates them to other souls.” (Diary of Faustina)