From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Sunday of Divine Mercy. Thomas believes because he sees Jesus.
Summary: In this resurrection account, Jesus appears to the disciples with the greeting Peace be with you. This time, Thomas is present, and Jesus challenges Thomas’s doubt. Jesus wishes for all of his disciples to be at peace. When we think about it, Jesus’ greeting peace be with you is quite a beautiful greeting to offer to a group of people who denied him and ran when things looked desperate. Jesus is true to himself and presents himself as the very definition of peace.
Scripture: Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” John 20:24-25
On the Sunday that Jesus rose from the grave, he appeared to a group of his disciples. One of the disciples, whose name was Thomas, was not with them. When the disciples told Thomas that they had seen Jesus and that he was alive, Thomas said, “I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes.
I want to see the nail-prints in his hands and put my hand in the place where the spear was thrust into his side.”
A week later, Jesus appeared to his disciples again. This time Thomas was there. Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Then Thomas believed!
Heavenly Father, we thank you for sending your son to die on the cross for our sin. Help us to accept by faith that Jesus has risen from the grave and that he is alive. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: What type of Christian gathering (Mass, youth groups, retreats, service trips) helps you the most to connect with the Christian community, and why?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Written by David McKee
Family Discussion: Within normal family life, there are many opportunities for conflict. Jesus did not promise us the absence of conflict in our lives. Instead, he gave us the gifts of peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation so that we could reduce conflict. The measure of Christian family life is not the absence of conflict, but the manner in which conflict is resolved. Filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, we ask Jesus to help us to bring peace and forgiveness to situations of conflict in our families.
As your family gathers, take this opportunity to examine how your family resolves conflict. Recall a recent argument or disagreement and discuss how the conflict was resolved. Consider whether the conflict was resolved peacefully, in the spirit of Jesus. If not, discuss alternatives that might be tried in the future. Read together today’s Gospel, John 20:19-31. Recall that we have each received Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit helps us to be people who forgive others and seek peace. Pray together the Prayer to the Holy Spirit or the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.