Gospel of John 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciplesJohn 20:19-31
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Divine Mercy Sunday Gospel Reflection
This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday which makes it a great day to reflect on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As we know, sin cuts us off from God’s sanctifying grace. Although our sin may cut us off temporarily from sanctifying grace, it can always be regained through an honest and authentic reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Often, I hear people say that they are not deserving of God’s love because of their sinfulness. While none of us deserve God’s love, it is granted to all of us as a gift. I often meet people who believe that their sin is “different” and “worse” than the sins of their neighbor and thus feel worthless, inferior, and despairing.
While there are different levels of sin and some are worse than others, we cannot get trapped in the mindset that our sins cannot be forgiven or that we are somehow special or unique in our sinfulness. If we do this, we are really doubting the amount of God’s love, which we know to be infinite and without limit.
This is simply pride in a different form since we are implying that our sins are so grand and severe that even God cannot forgive us. Sins of any kind are a drop in the ocean compared to God’s love, mercy, and grace. If you believe you are a sinner, you are correct. However, take heart in God’s love and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation whenever you feel as if you have sinned. After you do, commit to trying harder, praying more, and move on. If you do this regularly, I will wager that your mental health will improve!