I WOULD like to give some reflections for the gospel of today, John 20:19-31, on the second Sunday of Easter. Just as in the first creation God infused life into Adam, so, too, Jesus’ breath communicates life to the new spiritual creation. Christ, who died to take away the sin of the world, now leaves to his own power to forgive.
Thus the hope of the Biblical people has been realized. God lead them in such a way that they felt the universal presence of sin, and so they offered animals in the Temple uninterruptedly to appease God. That river of blood failed to destroy sin, and the priests themselves offered sacrifices for their own sins before praying to God for the others. Ceremonies and rites had no power to purify the heart or to give the Holy Spirit.
Now, in the person of Jesus risen from the dead, a new world has begun. Although humanity may continue to sin, already the first of its sons and daughters, the “eldest brother of them all” is sharing fully the holy life of God.
Those who strive for the spiritual life, suffer above all from a keen awareness of the universal presence of sin as the greatest gift given to the Church.
The capacity to forgive is the only power able to release the great tensions within humankind. Although it does not easily conquer hearts, it is an invaluable secret and the Church should consider it as its own particular treasure.
One who does not know how to forgive does not know how to love. On making us aware of sin and purifying us from it, the Church helps us demonstrate a more authentic love for the neighbor.
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