John 20: 19 - 31
Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.” Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”
Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.
Locked away in fear after the death of their friend and leader the disciples were probably in a state of shock and bewilderment about what to do next. Rather than continuing the work that had begun they hid away fearing the same fate as Jesus. Still, Jesus came to them, through the locked doors of the room, and bringing peace.
How often do we close ourselves from the peace and love of God when things in our lives do not go to plan, and yet Jesus is still there for us, still makes his way into our hearts as a comfort and tells us what to do next to move forward - all through the power that he gave to the apostles during that meeting.
Jesus gave them the power to forgive sins through the power of the Holy Spirit, a power that has been passed to priests today. This is why the sacrament of reconciliation is such of an uplifting experience; we are actually receiving heavenly graces and the forgiveness of sins from the Lord Himself. Through this sacrament His Mercy endures forever.
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion -inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
From the Chaplet of Divine Mercy