In our gospel for Sunday, John 20:19-31, the women have returned from their trip to the tomb on Sunday filled with excitement at seeing the Lord. Peter and John have also returned home from their trip to the empty tomb. All the disciples, except Thomas, are gathered together in a room with the doors locked, afraid that they are about to become the next victims of the angry Jews. All of a sudden, Jesus is standing there among them. They are expecting to be rebuked or censured because of their behavior on the previous Friday, but Jesus calms them saying, “Peace be with you.” Then, so they do not mistake Him for a ghost, he shows them his hands and side. Jesus was clearly identifying himself to them so that there would be no mistake.
Can you imagine the scene? They probably all gathered around Jesus hugging him, touching him, wanting to be close to the Master they have loved and thought they had lost. The disciples are overjoyed at the sight of their Lord. What joy indeed! Again Jesus says, “peace be with you”, which is the normal Hebrew greeting, this time he adds, “as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Then Jesus breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit." Then He commissions them with these words, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do no forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now they are prepared for the rest of the story which will begin in 50 days at Pentecost.
The Lord is Risen!