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Divine Mercy Sunday - Cycle B

John 20:19-31

Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” (John 20:26)

Jesus finds his disciples cowering behind locked doors. We might expect they are rejoicing that Jesus had risen and conquered death, but instead, they let their fear paralyze them. They were afraid for their own lives and their uncertain futures. Jesus, however, is not to be stopped by locked doors. He enters through the doors and appears amid His frightened disciples. Yet, He comes not to confront his disciples with their shortcomings but to greet them and grant them peace. 


On this second Sunday of Easter, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, which points us to God's merciful love. His divine love meets us in the midst of our suffering, sin, fear, and doubt. Instead of greeting his disciples with retribution, God greets them in peace and mercy, even after they betrayed, denied, and hid from Him. As soon as the disciples see Him, they come to believe. 


Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the other disciples when they encountered the risen Jesus, yet Jesus still came to Him a week later. Jesus’ appearance to Thomas is not a rebuke but a blessing for all who will come to believe without having had the same encounter with Jesus. Indeed, John’s gospel goes on to declare that this is the very purpose of this book, addressing all of us who have not seen but have heard this testimony: “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that through believing you may have life in his name.” That is you and me!


We, too, have heard the good news of the risen Jesus. However, how often do our fears, anxieties, and doubts betray our disbelief? The natural thing to do when we are feeling anxious or threatened might be to lock the doors and focus on our own security. This Gospel promises that our locked doors cannot stop Jesus. Jesus comes to us with patience and mercy as He came to the first disciples right in the midst of our fear. He speaks peace, breathing the breath of the Holy Spirit into our lives.

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