Let us pray.
God of Light,
Help us to live as believers in the resurrection.
May we bring the light of Christ to others.
In the name of Jesus, the risen Christ, we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
On this Second Sunday of Easter, our focus is on the resurrection of Jesus. The Paschal, or Easter candle is lighted at the Easter Vigil and throughout the Easter season. It is also lighted at baptisms and funerals to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus. To begin today’s session keep the lights out and light a candle in the center of the room. Invite the children to reflect on how the lit candle brings light into the darkness. Discuss:
- What does the lit candle symbolize about Jesus?
- Why is the Easter candle lit in church during the Easter Season?
- How can you bring the light of Christ to others?
We have not seen the risen Lord, yet we believe that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and the Holy Spirit dwells among us. The light of Christ is present throughout the world.
Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from Acts of the Apostles, listen to how the disciples became light for the world.
Read Acts 5:12-16.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- Why were sick people carried into the streets?
- What did the apostles do to bring the light of Christ into the world?
- Why did many people come to believe in Jesus Christ?
In today’s gospel the risen Lord appears to the disciples. Listen to how the disciples are changed.
Read John 20:19-31.
Allow for silence.
- Why were the apostles behind locked doors?
- What was the first thing that Jesus said to them?
- What did Jesus do?
- How were the apostles changed?
- How did Thomas react to the news of the resurrection of Jesus?
- How did Thomas come to believe in Jesus?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
There is a spirit of excitement and joy in today’s readings. The first reading from Acts reveals the awesome power of the Spirit in the lives of the apostles. Their belief in the Risen Christ has taken them out of hiding and put them among the people where they work many wonders. This passage shows how the early Christian community grew in response to the faith and witness of the apostles.
In the gospel today the risen Lord appears to the apostles. We can only imagine the excitement and joy of the moment. The disciples are behind locked doors, afraid when Christ comes before them with a greeting of “peace.”
The risen Christ then commissions the disciples to continue his own saving work: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” The confused and frightened followers of Christ are given a mission and they find meaning for their lives. Jesus then breathes on the disciples giving them the gift of Spirit, and the disciples are changed. No longer afraid, the followers of Christ are empowered to go out into the world.
As today’s gospel reading continues we hear that Thomas was not present when the Risen Lord first appeared to the disciples. He is reluctant to believe what he does not see. Only after he sees the risen Christ for himself and touches his wounds is Thomas able to believe. Jesus responds with a blessing for all those who have not seen but have believed.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Do you believe in some things that you can not see?
- How do people come to believe in Jesus?
- Does believing in the risen Lord mean that we have to change?
If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
“Blessed are those who have not seen, but have believed.”
Faith comes from hearing about the good news from the witness of a community of believes. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the words of those who tell the good news are inspired, and the ears of those who listen are opened to hear what is told.
Many believers struggle with their faith at times. When we experience evil, suffering and injustice in this world we may begin to question our belief. In times of doubt, individuals can turn to the community of faith for support.
- Do you have doubts about your faith in Jesus?
- Who can you turn to with your questions?
- What helps you to grow in your belief in the risen Lord?
The Gospel in Life
Notice the Easter candle in your church. How can you bring the light of Christ to others?
Connecting to Be My Disciples
Grade 4, Chapter 12
Grade 5, chapter 8
Grade 6, chapter 8
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Grade 4, chapter 1 and page 269 Parish and page 373 School
Grade 5, chapter 1 and 21 and page 269 Parish and page 373 School
Grade 6, chapter 1 and 21 and page 269 Parish and page 373 School
Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 18
Grade 5, chapter 8
Grade 6, chapter 3