Dominica In Albis Or Low Sunday The Gospel John 20 v.19 Tuesday Meditation
GOSPEL John 20:19-31
At that time, when it was late the same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them: "Peace be to you." And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: "Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said: "Peace be to you." Then he said to Thomas: "Put in thy finger hither and see my hands. And bring hither the hand and put it into my side. And be not faithless, but believing." Thomas answered and said to him: "My Lord and my God." Jesus saith to him: "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed." Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.
As our sensual appetites & desires do border upon God, as aforeſaid, & must be limited and regulated by reason, and the law of God, if we will have peace with him; so do they border close upon our neighbor, and must be limited & regulated by the same rule: for God hath made such a strict union of love between himself and us, that we cannot transgress against our neighbor, but we must transgress God.
And here we may admire with the prophet David & cry out saying: O Lord what is man that thou so magnify him, & the son of man, that thou has him is such reputation, as to unite him so strictly unto thee, that we cannot offend our neighbor, but we must offend thee, and in offending thee, we would our own souls, & consequently we cannot hurt our neighbor, but first we hurt ourselves a great deal more, for by the same knife we wound our neighbor, we first wound ourselves.
To teach us how to observe this peace with our neighbor, Christ when he appeared to his disciples & saluted them with peace, ſtood in the midst of them, that is to say, in equal distance of love to them all, without any partiality to one more then another. This is the greatest cause of peace between men in matters of controversy that can be.
Peace, as the Scripture saith, Is the works of Justice or equity, that is to say the effect which equity doth work: and therefore the Prophet David saith, they kiss one another.
If we make a perfect Circle and draw never so many lines from the Center to the Circumference, every line is equal, every line is as it were at peace with the rest, and hath no cause to be out of quiet.
If the lines be drawn never so little beſides the Center unto the Circumference, all are uneven, & have cauſe to complain of one another, that they are shorter or longer then one another.
Chriſt appearing to his disciples stood in the midst of them, as it were in the Center, and said, Peace be unto you, to teach all manner of Superiors, if they would have this golden virtue of Peace among their subjects, to stand in the midst or Center of them, that equal lines may be drawn to every one of them that are in their Circumference, by the hand of equity & justice, which if it proceed also from charity, which as the Scripture saith make us to dwell in God, and God in us, then it may be truly said of such a Superior, that God stand in the midst of his subjects in his person, & saith unto them, peace be unto you, and of his subjects, if they be obedient, that the God of peace dwell in them, and they in him.
A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634