Second Sunday of Easter

As Jesus speaks to Thomas in today’s Gospel, we are reminded that faith calls us to touch the open wounds of Jesus by becoming channels of peace, forgiveness and healing in our world.

  • To the point: In the face of Thomas’s obstinate unbelief, Jesus is remarkably serene and understanding when he returns a week later and meets Thomas where he is. Jesus incarnates the peace with which he greets the disciples and manifests forgiveness in his encounter with Thomas. He sends the disciples forth with firsthand experience of the ministry with which he entrusts them: granting forgiveness and spreading peace.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 20:19-31) to the second reading: The second reading spells out what believing in the risen Jesus enables us to do: to love God and others, obey God’s commandments, and conquer the world.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: We usually use the term “peace” in reference to absence of war or struggle. The peace of which the gospel speaks, however can be know even in the midst of war or struggle — because it is a peace that comes to us only through the risen Lord.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 20: 19-31)

He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand
and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

The Lord God formed them out of clay and blew into their nostrils
the breath of life. My Lord and my God! Jesus breathed on them
and gave them his own Spirit.
My Lord and my God! Christ Jesus, fill us with your
very own life so we can take your love and forgiveness
to every single person on Earth. My Lord and my God!

The First Reading

(Acts 4: 32-35)

“There was no needy person among them.”

No one owned anything. They shared all they had.
No person in need did without.
One heart and one mind was theirs.
Christ was their food. Christ was their life.
Lord, let our love for you bind us to each other,
so that there is not one person left needy in this world.
Let us help you to make it happen.

The Second Reading

(I John 5: 1-6)

“For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome.”

Lord, through your death and resurrection
you made peace with the world.
By your grace let us love you, and love one another,
and spread your peace throughout the world.

Copyright © 2024, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection

The Prayer of Thomas, the Apostle

Lord, you know me so well,
I am realistic,
always protecting my heart from false hope,
Often falling into pessimism.
And yet, O Lord, I do not struggle to believe.

My heart is filled twin emotions — love and fear.
My love for you cannot reconcile the way you died.
My fears multiply remembering the ways I have betrayed you.
And yet you come to me, Time and again.

You unlock the doors of my fear.
You open my life to your all encompassing love.
Your silent smile melts me with unending forgiveness.
You offer your warm wounds for me to touch.
Your heart-filled with boundless patience,
Your soft words of gentle peace.

You breathe on me.
Whispering new life into me,
You empower me to be all that I am.
You recreate me again and again
And each time, I realize
That your best gift to me
Is my own power to forgive others.
And my heart sinks to the ground in loving surrender.
I fall on my knees,
I know you are the Only Way,
You, my Lord, my God, and my All. Amen.
Help me O Lord to abandon my fear,
To recognize your touch, your breath, your call in my life.
Strengthen my will to forgive. Amen.