St. John's Gospel (20:19-31) for the Second Sunday of Easter:
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Judean authorities,* Jesus came and stood among them and said,
"Peace be with you."
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again,
"Peace be with you.
"As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."**
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him,
"We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them.
Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
"Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas,
"Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side.
"Do not doubt but believe."
Thomas answered him,
"My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him,
"Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.
But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
* for fear of the Judean authorities:
The usual translation is "for fear of the Jews," a translation that doesn't make sense in this context (nor in most other contexts in John's Gospel where "the Jews" occurs).
After all, everyone in the room, every single disciple, is a Jew!
What the gathered disciples feared were the Judeans— that is, the Judean authorities who had arrested Jesus and handed him over to the Roman authorities.
If John's Gospel had been better translated, a lot of so-called "Christian" anti-Semitism throughout the centuries would have lacked the wrongly-supposed authority for it that some have ascribed to the Fourth Gospel.
** "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
The Greek "forgive" is written in the absolute tense— that is to say, if you forgive someone's sin, that sin is forgiven as if it had never been committed.
In other words, we have absolute authority to forgive sins.
On the other hand, the Greek "retain" is written in the conditional tense— that is to say, we have only a temporary ability to retain sins— until we decide to exercise our absolute authority to forgive, or until Jesus exercises his absolute authority to forgive sins!
Painting: Bangor Cathedral, Wales, 2009.
The painting draws our eyes to Jesus and the wound in his side. Did you even notice Thomas? or the other two disciples? or that one of the disciples may be a woman? or how they are dressed?