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22 [a]And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,(A) “Receive the holy Spirit. 23 [b](B)Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

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  1. 20:22 This action recalls Gn 2:7, where God breathed on the first man and gave him life; just as Adam’s life came from God, so now the disciples’ new spiritual life comes from Jesus. Cf. also the revivification of the dry bones in Ez 37. This is the author’s version of Pentecost. Cf. also the note on Jn 19:30.
  2. 20:23 The Council of Trent defined that this power to forgive sins is exercised in the sacrament of penance. See Mt 16:19; 18:18.