Today’s Gospel sees Jesus appear in the presence of the disciples in the closed upper room. This is the first appearance to them since the night of his arrest. He comes with peace — Peace be with you he says and shows his hands and side. He goes on to breathe on them giving them a mandate mirrored on his own: As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. He gives them an incredible gift: receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain they are retained. Jesus is merciful to those who ran away on Holy Thursday night and through their experience of that divine mercy they receive the spirit to share that mercy with those they encounter.