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Jesus appears to His disciples

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.

Reflection
THE DIVINE MERCY:

FRUIT OF LENT AND EASTER
The Octave or Eighth Day of Easter is also known as “New Sunday” and “the birthday of salvation” (St. Gregory of Nazianzen), “the compendium of mercy” (St. Augustine), and “the second perfection of Easter” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

Then, on April 30, 2000, as he canonized Blessed Faustina, John Paul II named the Second Sunday of Easter as “Divine Mercy Sunday.” The Pope explained that this day is “the Sunday of Thanksgiving for all goodness that God has shown us in the whole of the Easter mystery.”

Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible for him to breathe on the disciples and give them the Holy Spirit for the ministry of forgiveness of sins (cf vv 22-23), as Jesus promised in the farewell discourse at the first Holy Thursday (cf Jn 16:7-11). God’s merciful and forgiving love through Jesus touches Thomas first, as if to assure us that no fault or failure is too great for God.

Jesus is the King of Mercy by his cross and resurrection. The devotional image is that of the risen Jesus appearing before a closed door, showing the wounds of his crucifixion as he raises his right hand in a gesture of blessing – as pictured in the Gospel. Risen from the dead, Jesus comes to the disciples gathered behind locked doors and greets them, “Peace be with you.”

The Feast of the Divine Mercy sums up Lent and Easter, proclaiming mercy as the perfect fruit of the whole paschal mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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