2nd Sunday of Easter Year C - 24/4/2022 - Gospel: Jn 20: 19-31
Peace Be with You
The Pharisees and Scribe criticised Jesus' disciples for not fasting. Jesus replied, 'But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast' Lk 5,35.

For Jesus, 'the time' known as 'The Hour' happened when He was taken away. For the apostles, it was time for mourning because their Master had been arrested. They themselves lived in fear, frightened of the Jewish leaders who were behind the plot to kill Jesus. The threat of being arrested and tortured was imminent. Facing their own demons and an unknown future, they now were in mourning. They remembered at the last Supper, no matter what, they vowed be faithful to Jesus. When the crucial time arrived they all ran away. Not their hearts, but their heads dictated their actions.

Their mourning time lasted for just three days. Jesus missed them greatly and they too missed Jesus. After the resurrection, Jesus had no time to spare, but He went to look for them. It showed He truly cared, loved and wanted to be with them. Before returning to the Father, Jesus entrusted them with the mission He had received from the Father. The Risen Lord had no trouble finding either the apostles' hiding place or going through their locked door. Hearing the greeting, the familiar voice, the voice of their Master, the apostles were filled with great joy. Jesus came, not to confront them for running away or for denying that they knew Him, but to fill their unknown future with eternal hope and peace. It was not an ordinary hope and peace: it was not conditional on a worldly environment. No, Jesus gave them a special peace, the peace of the Risen Lord, which was the everlasting peace that arose from within. Jesus showed the apostles His hands and side to make them feel that He was truly the crucified Jesus. He was the same person before and after the crucifixion. Jesus' greeting 'Peace be with you' implied that our humanity- flesh and bone- was able to contain the everlasting peace. Before sending the apostles out into the troubled world, Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you'. Just as the Father sent Jesus to bring the message of God's love to the trouble world, it was now Jesus, in His turn, sending the apostles to embark on bringing the message of glorious eternal peace of the Risen Lord to the world. Jesus received it from the Father; He now passed it on to His apostles, and to us, His disciples. Jesus allowed them and us to be His human face, and hands to do the mission. We are not alone in our mission field, but Jesus' spirit would be with us in our mission. The creation account (Gen 2:7) tells us that after making the shape of a person, God breathed on him to give him life. Jesus 'breathes' on the apostles, implying that they had a new life, and strengthened by the Advocate who will be our companion, and will teach, remind and guide us into all truth.

When Jesus first appeared to the apostles, for some reason, Thomas was not there. A week later, He came again; this time Jesus talked to Thomas, showing him His hands and side. Seeing Jesus, Thomas made a double confession 'My Lord and My God'v.28. The former one applied to the humanity of Jesus and the latter applied the divinity of Jesus. Jesus was truly human and truly God.

Jesus appeared to the apostles and that changed their life. Their fear, pain and unclear future now changed into everlasting joy and unbounded love, with a clear, shining vision of hope for the future. Jesus said to Thomas, 'Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe,' Lk 20:29. He spoke of you and me who have not seen and yet believe. We are blessed when we believe the Good News, and become a human face and hands of Jesus.