THE PASTORíS DESK
By Fr. Terry Kerner
came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be
with you.'" Three times in today's Gospel, Jesus
speaks these words to his disciples. He knew they were in
need of peace! Following the Crucifixion, they had huddled
in fear, hiding behind locked doors, "for fear of the
Jews." But the risen Christ burst into this prison of
anxiety to set the disciples free.
wonder why, after his first greeting of peace, Jesus
immediately showed the disciples the wounds of his
crucifixion, still present in his now glorified body. Why
would he speak of peace and then show them the scars from
the violence of the cross? Perhaps it is because those
wounds earned our forgiveness. And this forgiveness is our
we may not suffer from the fear of martyrdom as these
first disciples did, we all need the peace that comes from
being forgiven, and from forgiving. Our sins enslave us by
preventing us from experiencing the fullness of life. But
Jesus' mercy is greater than our sins. He wants to forgive
us. And, as he taught us, we are supposed to "forgive
those who trespass against us" as well. Perhaps we
harbor grudges towards neighbors or family members who
have hurt us. We are called to extend forgiveness to them,
just as Christ extends forgiveness to us. In this way, we
can cooperate with Christ by spreading peace to others.
"As the Father has sent me, so I send you," he
told the disciples gathered in the room. We too are sent
to be messengers of Christ's peace and mercy.
today, on this Sunday of Divine Mercy, may we accept from
Jesus his promise of forgiveness. Then, we will truly be
able to "go in peace."