“Peace be with you…..Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained”. Jn. 20:21-23.
A young woman who was preparing for the Sacraments told me that these words from the Gospel had brought her closer to confession because her father would tell her when she was young that one “confessed with your pillow”.
On this second Sunday of Easter we find in the Gospel the appearance of Jesus Christ to the disciples with a request: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you”, with the same power to forgive sins.
The risen Jesus also gives them His peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” Jn. 14:27. Jesus brings the peace of the heart to His disciples to carry to all who come repentant to the Sacrament of Confession.
It is the peace that is received “when we accommodate the mercy of God in our lives by recognizing our faults and by repenting our sins. God himself with His Word and His Spirit discovers our failings, places our conscience in the truth above itself and gives us the hope of forgiveness”. Catechism #1846-48.
We know that sin takes away peace because sin is the contrary of faith – disbelief. Human beings have not been created to live in sin, but to live in the grace of God.
This Sunday we celebrate the Divine Mercy. Remember, “God is merciful and loves us all. The larger your sin the larger right you have to MY Mercy”. (Diary 723). Remember also that faith without works, no matter how strong the faith, is useless. (Diary 742).
Let us ask the Lord for peace, fruit of a humble and sincere confession, and for the commitment to bring that blessed peace and mercy of Christ to so many hearts that need it in our family and community.