In the Gospel today, we see Jesus appear to the disciples on the evening of the first day of the week (Easter Sunday) and addressing them with “Peace be with you”. He shows his hands and his side. They were filled with joy. He then repeats the greeting with an addition to it — he gives them their mission: As the Father sent me, so am I sending you”. He then breathes on them and gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit and the power to forgive sins.
Thomas isn’t present and we are told that eight days later the disciples were together again and Thomas was there too. Peace is offered to begin with and Jesus gives Thomas the opportunity to overcome his doubt, resulting in Thomas’ declaration of faith: ‘My Lord and my God’.
John’s account of the appearances of Christ on these two occasions highlight the importance of bringing peace to others, the recognition of forgiveness and mercy as a central part of the mission of the Church and the faith we are called to have in Christ. “Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe”
John finishes by saying there were many other things Jesus did and are not recorded ‘in this book’. What he has recorded as evangelist is done so that we may believe that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God and that we may have life through Christ’s name.