Today’s Gospel (see Jn 20 : 19-31) tells us that on Easter Sunday JESUS appeared to his disciples in the Upper Room in the evening, bringing three gifts: peace , joy , the apostolic mission .
THE SOURCE OF PEACE
ANGELUS ADDRESS BY POPE FRANCIS ON THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER 2019
The first words JESUS says are: ” Peace to you“(V. 21). The Risen One brings authentic peace, because through his sacrifice on the cross he has realised the reconciliation between God and humanity and has overcome sin and death. This is peace. His disciples first needed this peace, because, after the capture and death sentence of the Master, they had fallen into bewilderment and fear. Jesus presents himself alive among them and, showing his wounds – Jesus wanted to preserve his wounds -, in the glorious body, he gives peace as the fruit of his victory. But that evening the Apostle Thomas was not present. Informed of this extraordinary event, he, incredulous before the testimony of the other Apostles, claims to verify personally the truth of what they affirm. Eight days later, that is just like today, the apparition is repeated: Jesus comes to meet the incredulity of Thomas, inviting him to touch his wounds. They constitute the source of peace, because they are the sign of the immense love of Jesus who defeated the forces hostile to man, sin, death. He invites him to touch the sores. It is a teaching for us, as if Jesus said to all of us: “If you are not at peace, touch my wounds”.
DRAW NEAR TO JESUS
Touch the wounds of Jesus, which are the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, diseases of so many suffering people. Aren’t you at peace? Go, go and visit someone who is the symbol of the wound of Jesus. Touch the wound of Jesus. From those wounds comes mercy. This is why today is the Sunday of mercy. A saint said that the body of Jesus crucified is like a lot of mercy, that through the wounds it reaches us all. We all need mercy, we know that. Let us draw near to Jesus and touch his wounds in our suffering brothers. The wounds of Jesus are a treasure: mercy comes from there. We are brave and touch the wounds of Jesus. With these wounds He stands before the Father, shows them to the Father, as if he were saying: “Father, this is the price, these wounds are what I paid for my brothers. ” With his wounds, Jesus intercedes before the Father. Give us mercy if we approach, and intercedes for us. Don’t forget the wounds of Jesus.
The second gift that the risen Jesus brings to the disciples is joy . The evangelist reports that “the disciples rejoiced to see the Lord” (v. 20). And there is also a verse, in Luke’s version, which says that they could not believe for joy. We too, when maybe something incredible happened, something nice, we can say: “I can’t believe it, this is not true!”. Such were the disciples, they could not believe for joy. This is the joy that Jesus brings us. If you are sad, if you are not at peace, look at Jesus crucified, look at Jesus risen, look at his wounds and take that joy.
TRANSFORM THE WORLD
And then, in addition to peace and joy, Jesus brings the gift to the disciples in the mission . He tells them: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (v. 21). The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of a new dynamism of love, capable of transforming the world with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
On this second Sunday of Easter, we are invited to approach Christ with faith, opening our hearts to peace, joy and mission. But let’s not forget the wounds of Jesus, because peace, joy and strength for the mission come from there. We entrust this prayer to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, queen of heaven and earth.