9 - Jesus commissions the disciples

O sing to the Lord a new song

All        for he has done marvellous things.  Alleluia.


Bible reading – John 20:21-23

Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’



As with Matthew’s Gospel, so John gives the resurrection encounters punch.  Being amazed is only the first step in what is to follow.  The calling has not come to an end and they are being sent out.  They can forgive sins and they can retain them too!  Well, they will be God’s agents through which people will find forgiveness.  Conversely some will also refuse it and accordingly not find release.  This ministry brings challenge and judgement.  How will we respond to its message of hope and peace, its gracious gift?


Risen Lord,

you restore the fallen

and heal the wounds of the afflicted.

May your Church help the penitent

find forgiveness and release.  Amen.



            Sing to the Lord, bless his name

All        tell of his salvation from day to day.  Alleluia.