Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday
Peace to you and peace to everybody!
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.” Jn 20,19-23
Today the gospel teaches us something very important: it helps to ponder on our closures. Jesus entered into the location where his disciples were staying, keeping the doors closed, because they were fearing the Jews, worried by the information about the resurrection. When entering, Jesus gave them his greeting: ”Peace to you!”. In that case the doors were closed because of the fear, but there is a lot of other things because of which the Christians get together by keeping the doors closed, sometimes also those of the heart. Every so often, when we attend the holy mass by Sunday, only the doors of the church are open: the ones of our heart are often closed or open only a little bit. We keep our doors closed as we would still be by the times of the catacombs. The apparent reasons of our closures can be the tiredness, some worries, the routine of the meeting the people, the privacy; but the real reason is that we have not the awareness that, when we meet together in his name, the Lord is really among ourselves. If we would be aware of this truth, when we meet we would start to sing and praise, opening doors and windows. However, even if we have not this intimate belief, the sing and the pray of praise have the power to originate it. There is nothing more beautiful and involving than to start to sing and to praise the Lord when we meet : the heart and the mind are open, we stay hand with hand and we feel to be brothers in Christ. By the end, when the pray meeting is over, realizing that the doors of the heart have been wide opened, we can go in a new way towards the commitments of the day, to meet people who, in turn, will be opened to the Lord. When we enter in the office, instead of greeting the others with the usual “Good morning”, it would be good to start the working day with a sincere “Peace to you!”. Even if it is not possible to start to sing and to praise the Lord while being in the street, in the subway and in the office, let’s greet the people whom we meet also with a simple smile, carrier of peace: the doors will open and we will live all our daily relationships with all the doors wide open. To open the doors to Christ, as Pope John Paul II taught us to do, means to open the doors to the people and to the life. It is a social therapy.