John 20:1-9 Easter Sunday
April 3, 2021
Luke 24:35-48 3rd Sunday of Easter “PEACE BE WITH YOU”
April 17, 2021

John 20:19-31 2nd Sunday of Easter Octave of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday

2nd Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy
Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
John 20:19-31

Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus has reminded us through St. Faustina that the prayers of the Divine Mercy are very short because they are intended for the business of the modern world.

A. Text/Context
• The gospel today has two parts, the first part is the first appearance of Jesus to the ten disciples, and the second part is the second appearance of Jesus to the eleven disciples including Thomas
• It must be remembered that after the crucifixion and death of Jesus, a very tense situation prevailed in Jerusalem
• The disciples were hiding because they were afraid of arrest from the authorities
• They felt they were not free and they have to do clandestine meetings because they were overcame with fear
• Despite the news that Jesus has risen from death, they were still scared, disillusioned, and confused. They were very much in trouble
• They were not peaceful and they badly need the assurance to be calm and peaceful
• When Jesus appeared for the first time, it was a fulfillment of his promise
• The result of this is that the fear of the disciples was dispelled and such fear was transformed into joy upon seeing Jesus
• Indeed, the news that Jesus has risen is true. When Jesus told them “peace be with you” for the first time, the disciples rejoiced and he showed them his hands and side
• Jesus repeated the words “peace be with you” for the second time and added that “as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you,” then he breathed on them and said “receive the Holy Spirit those whom you forgive are forgiven, those whom you do not forgive are not forgiven.” This is the essence of the Holy Spirit here
• According to the scholars, the giving of the Holy Spirit is a sign of forgiveness. The disciples were commissioned by the Lord to spread the message of peace and that forgiveness is the necessary requirement in order that the disciples will attain peace
• This is the breath of life reflected in the creation story in Genesis in the Old Testament when God breathed on Adam and Eve and there was life on them
• When Jesus breathed on the disciples, he meant a life of forgiveness, a new life of forgiveness in the risen Lord. When Thomas knew about the news, he doubted. He did not believe what the disciples said
• He needs a proof or evidence or the empirical data that indeed, Jesus is risen. In the second appearance of Jesus, the doors were still locked but this time our evangelist John no longer mentioned that the disciples were still afraid of the Jews
• Once more Jesus said to them “peace be with you” and this time Thomas made the greatest confession “my Lord and my God”
• This phrase is now the culmination of the gospel’s Christology and Jesus added that “blessed are those who believe without seeing.”

B. Human Situation
• What does the gospel want to convey to us in our life today? Why did Jesus repeat the words “peace be with you” three times in the gospel? What is the message of the gospel?
• There are three means by way of the gospel in order to attain peace: first, we must be able to overcome fear because fear is really very stifling
• If for example one of the partners in a couple commits a sin of infidelity to the other and despite your knowledge of it the situation still remains unchecked because of fear that you might sour relationship that might result to separation or ruin in the family, then nothing happens and perhaps the infidelity will continue
• If in a family your child has become a drug addict and despite your knowledge about it you do not do anything then it will do more harm than good if you remain silent about it and no confrontation happens
• The second method to attain peace is that we must be able to forgive. A person who is able to forgive the wrongs done to him has no guilt of conscience, has humility in his heart and therefore has peace of mind
• Forgiveness is so important as a necessary requirement for peace of mind. The third one is that there must be no room for doubt
• A lot of us are like Thomas who doubted probably because we are so saddled with plenty of problems
• Perhaps there were times in our life that we even doubted the existence of God. We doubt whether our prayers are really heard. If we have attitudes like this, then, there will never be room for growth in our Christian life and we can never have peace in us.

C. Challenge
• My brothers and sisters, we are already given all the means to be near to God. All the chances are here in order that we can make use of them otherwise it will be too late
• Peace can be attained in our life if we can do the challenges mentioned in the gospel today. We are challenged to overcome fear, to forgive others, and make a full trust in the Lord
• And surely, no doubt, when God rules our life, there will be peace in our hearts. God is the giver of peace, no one else in this world can provide it
• Do not be afraid to face and confront unpleasant situations, do not be too self-righteous so as not to forgive the sins of others done to you, and do not doubt of the providential care of God because He supplies what we lack
• When we ourselves felt peaceful inside it will be seen outside because what is going on inside eventually shows upon the outside

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John 20 verse 19-31

John 20 verse 19-31

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