“Peace be with you.”

Returning to John’s account of post-Resurrection events (Jn 20:19-31), we read of Jesus’ appearance to His disciples in the locked room on Easter evening.  He shows them His hands and side and they delight in His presence.  He then gives them the power (through the Holy Spirit) to forgive and retain sins.  Thomas, one of the Eleven, was not there and does not believe the others’ tale of Jesus appearance.  A week after His first appearance, Jesus appears again and admonishes the now believing Thomas for His previous skepticism.  John concludes by saying that Jesus performed many other signs as well, but relates only a few to help the reader to come to believe in Jesus as Christ for our salvation.  Thrice in this passage, Jesus utters the words at top.  Each time it is His greeting to His disciples.  The Prince of Peace comes with the Spirit of Peace to calm the fears and alleviate the doubts of His closest collaborators during His public ministry.  These four simple words are an encouragement to us, especially during times of difficulty, depression, or despair.  No matter the circumstances, we should always recall that it is only the Lord that can give us true peace: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)  Let us strive to live our lives in such a way that our thoughts, words, and actions always reflect our maintaining of a perfect trust in the promises of Christ (particularly His Divine Mercy which we remember in a special way on this first Sunday after Easter).

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