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Second Sunday of Easter, Year B

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Lectionary: 44
Read the Gospel: John 20:19-31

Gospel Summary
Because they still did not understand all that Jesus had told them, the disciples were huddled together, frightened, in a room. The doors locked, notwithstanding, Jesus entered the room and greeted the disciples with a sign of peace. Some have interpreted this sign of peace as more than the "all be well with you," variety but more of the "shalom" type which entails a perfect harmony with God. In any case, the disciples received the Holy Spirit and came to understand the peace Jesus intended. The authority and power to forgive sins was also given to the Church at that time. It happened that Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus appeared, but the following week, Jesus returned and Thomas was present. He would only believe what he had heard about Jesus' appearance if he could touch the wounds in Jesus' body. Jesus invited Thomas to do so, but also told him that the people who believed without seeing or touching were truly blessed.

Reflection for Families
Our children often come to us frightened about one thing or another. It is our job to calm their fears and generally we do a pretty good job. But sometimes, our doubts or concerns are the same as theirs. When this happens, we're not always sure how to answer them. And after reading today's gospel, we may think that our faith is not strong enough. But doubt does not necessarily mean a lack of faith. Sometimes the best thing we can do is tell our children that we wonder about the same things they do and then together think about how our faith helps us answer the concern. Generally, these conversations revolve around a serious illness or death in the family and what happens when we die. It's not "lack of faith" that causes us to not know. It is a lack of knowledge because, it's true, none of us knows exactly.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Since this gospel passage reminds us that the Church received the power to forgive our sins, this might be a good time to talk about reconciliation as a family and how receiving forgiveness - from one another or through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, helps us heal and grow. If your family did not celebrate the sacrament during Lent, this might be a good time to go to Reconciliation as a family.

Discussion Starters
1. I'm a lot like Thomas because...
2. I was afraid, but felt the peace of Jesus when...
3. The best part about forgiving - or being forgiven - is...

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