Peace to you and peace to all!
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
The today’s gospel teaches us something very important: it helps us to think about our inhibitions. Jesus came into the place where the disciples were, behind closed doors because they feared of the Jews, shocked by the news of the resurrection. Entering, Jesus gave them his greeting: “Peace be with you”. In that case the doors were closed because of the fear, but there are many other reasons for which the christians meet together keeping the doors closed, sometimes also the ones of the heart. We participate to the holy mass of the sunday by the closed doors and we meet to pray together behind closed doors. We keep our doors closed, as if we were still at the time of the catacombs. The apparent reasons of our inhibitions may be the weariness, some concern, the routine of our meetings, the privacy; but the real reason is that we are not aware that, when we meet together in his name, the Lord is truly in our midst. If we would be aware of this truth, when we meet we ought to sing and to praise the Lord, opening doors and windows. However, although we do not have this intimate conviction, the song and the prayer of faith have the power to inspire it. There is nothing more beautiful and captivating than to begin to sing and to praise the Lord when we meet: the heart and the mind open, we take ourselves hand by hand and we feel to be brothers in Christ. Finally, when the prayer meeting ends, by the doors of the heart which are wide open, we can go by a new atitude towards the commitments of the day, to meet people who are, in turn, behind closed doors. And when we enter the office, instead of saying hallo by the usual: “Good morning”, it would be nice to start the working day by a sincere: “Peace be with you”. Even if we cannot sing and praise the Lord in the street, in the subway and in the office, let’s greet the people we meet even by a smile, harbinger of peace: the doors will open and we will live all our daily relationships by open doors. Opening the doors to Christ, as Pope John Paul II urged us to make, means opening the doors to the people and to the life. It is a social therapy.