Seventh Station

Jesus Appeares To His Disciples

Seventh Station

Jesus appears to his disciples after the resurrection and gives them the Holy Spirit granting them the authority to forgive sins.

Christ is risen! Alleluia! He is truly risen! Alleluia!

Welcome, brothers and sisters, to our Via Lucis station 7. In this station, we reflect on the appearance of Jesus to the disciples and how He granted them the authority to forgive sins.

In the Gospel of John, we learn that when Jesus came to the room where the disciples were gathered, He entrusted them with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you.” Then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

The disciples were gathered behind closed doors and were really terrified. They had experienced persecution and a great personal failure. Their entire lives had crumbled down with Jesus’s capture and death. Their souls were shattered, and they were afraid of death. That’s why they closed the doors, and I can imagine that they made sure no one knew where they were and how well the doors were locked.

When Jesus came to them, He didn’t bang on the doors obliging them to open or make sure they welcome Him. He knew their inability and that their faith was severely tested and shattered. In their minds, after Jesus’s death, there was nothing left, and they probably thought they would be captured and sentenced. Jesus came and granted them the gift of peace.

I’ve been wondering which tomb was more deadly, figuratively speaking. The one where Jesus was laid or where the disciples were, spiritually speaking. After Jesus was raised by the Father, He came to raise the disciples up.

Let us think about our enclosure, our closed doors when we were hurt, wounded, rejected, abused, or taken advantage of. We know how quickly we shut down. We don’t want to open up; we are afraid. We don’t want to be heard again, taken advantage of once again. It’s painful, and we keep those people who damaged us, who hurt us far away. Even just a memory of someone who hurt us brings about unfriendly and painful remembrance. That’s the tomb, the core within us. We may be walking around and smiling, pretending everything is okay, but there is a core within us, a very painful one.

This is where the disciples found themselves: closed, shut down within. To raise their faith again, to bring them back to life, to raise them from their despair of the closed doors to the life of a new day of the Resurrection, only Jesus Christ can do it.

As He comes, He grants them the gift of the Holy Spirit. He breathes on them. That’s the same image that we find in the Book of Genesis when God breathed into Adam’s nostrils. That’s the new creation. There was already one creation, but they needed to be recreated. Jesus breathed in them, gave them the Spirit, telling them to receive and take the Spirit.

For some commentators, this is considered to be the prelude or even the first Pentecost, the Pentecost of healing their wounds, of making them experience Jesus’s love towards those who lost their faith, who are traitors, helping them to forgive themselves.

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