Second Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy Sunday

Call to worship

The Easter Message is filled with peace, joy and forgiveness for all, especially those who have difficulty with faith. We are called to bring others to a deeper experience of Jesus’ peace.

  • To the point: Three times in the gospel the risen Lord addresses the gathered disciples, “Peace be with you.” This peace he brings allays fears, empowers forgiveness and prompts us to accept the reality of suffering and death as doorways to new life. This peace is new life: the Spirit breathed into us by the risen Lord with Jesus. Though we sin, Jesus only wishes new life for us.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 20:19-31) to the first reading: The risen Lord “holds the keys to death.” He unlocks the doors to new life not only for himself who is “alive for ever and ever” but also for us. We who believe in him as the gospel bids do not live in fear but in the peace his risen life brings.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: The “signs and wonders” which reveal the presence of the risen Christ stretch far beyond miraculous healings. People see the risen Christ also in our everyday acts of kindness, sensitivity, generosity, patience, and forgiveness

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 20: 19-31)

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Thomas was not at all rejoiced and was indignant.
He was imperfect. In need of mercy, as are we.
O Lord, you love us in our struggles.
Breathe your life into our flawed selves.
Let us find your grace and mercy
when we touch the wounds
in all your children everywhere.

The First Reading

(Acts 5: 12-16)

They carried their sick out into the street so that when Peter came by,
at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.

God, even through us you try to heal people
and bring them home.
Use our hands, our feet, our words, our breath,
our shadows –– as you used Peter’s
–– anything you can find in us,
to help fill the world with healing and your grace.

The Second Reading

(Revelation 1: 9-13, 17-19)

He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid.”

Dear Lord, you know our distress:
the planet, the injustices, Ukraine,
all these are desperate for your healing.
You say that because of you, death has no power.
We fall down before you in worship.
Please touch us gently, and tell us
“Do not be afraid”

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection

Prayer of St. Thomas, 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 how I betrayed you.

And yet you come to me,
Time and again.
You unlock the doors of my fear
And 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,
Empowering me to be all that I am.
Recreating me again and again …
Each time, I realize
That your best gift to me
Is my own power to forgive others.

My heart sinks to the ground in grateful, loving surrender;
I fall on my knees,
How well I know that You are the Only Way,
You, my Lord, my God, and my All. Amen.