1,719 total views

Today’s gospel (John 20:19-31) recounts the first appearance of the risen Christ where all eleven apostles are present and serve as the setting for Jesus to commission or send them, (cf s1S#39 Send, 7/11/21). The sudden appearance of the risen Jesus (confrontation), startles the disciples (reaction), requiring that Jesus set them at ease: “Peace be with you!” (reassurance v19)). This sort of commissioning ceremony is characterized by the following: 1) the commission is formal (“As the Father has sent me, so 1 send you,” v21); (2) they are to preach repentance and forgive sins (vv22-23); and (3) the commission is confirmed by Jesus’ sending of the Holy Spirit (v22).

Connecting this gospel to the celebration of the Feast of the Divine Mercy (established by John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalski, April 30), 2000), the Polish nun who experienced the divine mercy revelations), the greetings of Peace of the Risen Jesus (vv19,21,22,26) flow from that event called the paschal mystery of the Lord that was just celebrated. For the peace referred to here is the fruit of ‘the redemptive-historical fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation- the restoration of harmony between God and creation and within the created order itself effected by the Spirit life of the resurrection’, (cf John 14:27; s1S#82 Peace, 4/24/22). And with the commissioning of the apostles and gifting them with the Spirit (vv21b-23), their mission of reconciliation/forgiveness is to perpetuate that peace. This consists of The Divine Mercy, the complete and unmerited reconciliation mankind received (cf John 1:16-17; s1S#26 Mercy, 4/11/21). As shown by the risen Jesus, when he appeared, he could have remonstrated his disciples for being unfaithful, he could have chastised them for being cowards, and he could have scolded them for betraying him at the foot of the cross. Instead, he greeted them, “Peace be with you”. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

May we continually be overwhelmed by the steadfast love and mercy of God, strengthening us to courageously face the seemingly endless and hopeless situations in our lives and at the same time become the living presence of his mercy to others especially to those who are in greater need of our love, care and attention.

Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in you! Amen.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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