I am sure many of us have a memory of an occasion in our life when we were given a parting message which began…‘Don’t forget to…’ or ‘I want you to always remember…’ John’s final message to
us in today’s Gospel is, according to the Jerusalem Bible, his (First) Conclusion and ends with these words:

‘…These (signs) are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.’ This, his parting message, is what John wants us to remember, to reflect on.

The sign (account) John has recorded before this injunction is of an occasion when the disciples, a community of believers, had gathered, in fear, in a room where the doors are closed. Not what one would expect from the disciples after the time they had spent with Jesus. However, it can be a source of reassurance to us to see the disciples’ human frailty.

John tells us that Jesus came and stood among them and showed them his hands and his side and said:

“Peace be with you. Peace be with you.

As the Father sent me I am sending you.

Receive the Holy Spirit.

Those whose sins you forgive they are forgiven,

those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” 

And ‘they were overcome with joy.’

When we come together as a community of believers are we aware of Jesus coming and standing among us and speaking these words to us today? Can we reflect and share on this together?

Eight days after that first meeting Jesus again came in and stood among them. This time Thomas was present. We know that the disciples had told him, “We have seen the Lord” but Thomas was unbelieving. John’s account of this later meeting gives us a beautiful illustration of the interaction between Jesus and Thomas. Can we put ourselves in the place of Thomas or of any of the other disciples and be part of that conversation?

Could this Resurrection season be an invitation to us to take time to become more aware of Jesus’ Presence? A Presence that speaks to us in our ‘room’ of Peace, of receiving the Spirit, of being ‘sent’, of forgiveness and, of believing that we can have life through his name. Then like the psalmist in today’s Responsorial Psalm we can truly pray:

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good

for his love has no end.

 

 

         

 

Mary Daly, OP.