Dominica In Albis Or Low Sunday The Gospel John 20 v.19 Saturday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

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.
SATURDAY

Upon the day of the resurrection of Christ in the Evening, when the doors were shut, the Apostles being all together (but only St. Thomas) expecting the resurrection of Christ, till the very last, and his appearing, unto them for their comfort, as they presumed he would, Christ came into the house where they were, after a miraculous manner, they knew not how, the doors being shut in, and standing in the midst of them, said Peace be unto you, and showed them the wounds of his hands, &feet; Thomas being absent, at that time, they told him of it, he, as it stems, having sequestered himself to much from their company grew so cold and incredulous, that he answered them thus: Unless I see him myself, and put my fingers intones wounds, and my hand into his side, I will not believe it: Eight days after Christ not willing to loose any one of his disciples, but only Judas the son of perdition (not him neither if he would have repented aright) appeared unto them again, Thomas being with them, saluted them with peace as before, showed his wounds as before, bid Thomas come & put his fingers into his wounds, and his hand into his side.

Thomas believed, and burst forth into these words: My Lord and my God, which was a perfect profession of his belief in Christ. Here we may consider how dangerous it is to be cold and incredulous, to sequester ourselves from good company and exercise of religion, wherein no doubt the Apostles were employed at that time, and much more if we be in company that is ill.

Likewise we may consider how good a shepherd Christ ism that will not lose one of his sheep, but seek them out, of they go astray, and bring them home upon his shoulders, of duty & mercy, as he did Thomas, yet suffereth them sometimes to go far astray for the greater benefit of others, as he did Thomas, of whom St. Gregory saith, that his incredulity at first and that which followed thereof, to wit his feeling and handling the wounds of Christ, and confessing him to be God, did confirm the Church in the belief of the resurrection of Christ, more then the credulity of the rest of the Apostles, not that we must or may do evil that good may ensue, but to teach us that evil being done, God sometimes turneth it to a greater good.

Afterwards Christ breathed upon his disciples, and said: As my Father sent me, so do I you: receive yes the holy Ghost, whose sins so ever ye forgive here on earth are forgiven in heaven, & whose ye retain are retained.

God when he had made Adam, a man of clay, he breathed into him the breath of a corporal life, here Christ breathed into his Apostles being but mortal men a spiritual life or power to forgive sins in the Sacrament of penance, but which they did not only live themselves as Adam did, but were able to administer life unto all posterity as Adam did, and so made them spiritual Adams to beget children to God, as Adam did to the world.

And though mortal men cannot of themselves forgive sins unless they have that power & life given unto them, no more then Adam, being a man of cat, could beget children till he had life breathed into him; yet having received the holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Orders as well as the Apostles, and sent of Christ as he was sent of his Father, they can; and is to the greater honor of God, that sendeth them, and the necessary good of the people, for whom they have it, and therefore Christ gave them this life and power over his mystical body his Church, not before his death, but after his death & resurrection to signify that he had ordained men, to wit his priests who by the Sacrament of penance, should raise us also from the death of sin unto a spiritual life of grace, & that he merited this for us, but his own death and resurrection.


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