On the evening of that day, the first day after the Sabbath, the doors were locked where the disciples were, because of their fear of the Jews. But Jesus came, and stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” Then he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples, seeing the Lord, were full of joy.
Again Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit! Those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; those whose sins you retain, they are retained.”
Jesus’ disciples had locked themselves in a room out of fear for the Jews. Imagine this scene! Here are eleven grown men locked in a small room, fearful of what might happen to them. Then Jesus quietly appears in their midst. Did they rub their eyes wondering if something was wrong with their eyesight? Did they think they were going crazy when they saw Jesus? Did they immediately recognize that this apparition was Jesus, their beloved friend, and teacher?
Jesus quietly and simply said to His beloved friends and disciples, “Peace be with you.” Jesus showed His beloved friends His hands and His side. Did Jesus do this so they would know and believe that Jesus truly was in their midst? Probably, the disciples needed some proof that this apparition truly was Jesus, their teacher, and friend. Yet as they began to absorb the fact that Jesus truly was with them once again, they rejoiced. They were awed and amazed! Jesus once again said to His disciples,“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Did the disciples experience peace envelop them when Jesus spoke these simple yet powerful words? Jesus then breathed on them and said,“Receive the Holy Spirit! Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained!” The Holy Spirit was sent among us for the forgiveness of sins that separate us from God and from one another. The peace given by Jesus is a sign of reconciliation. May we feel the Spirit of God most especially in the Sacrament of reconciliation./Vulnerasti, 2023