Second Sunday of Easter, Year B, Primary

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Primary Session
John 20:19-31

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God, You love us and
You want us to live as peacemakers.
Whenever we find quarreling or fighting, help us to bring peace.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection
The topic for today is the Challenge of Peace. For today’s session provide crayons and outlines of doves cut out of white paper. Explain to the children that the dove is a symbol for peace and for the Holy Spirit who helps us to live in peace. Invite the children to write the words “Peace be with you” on their dove. Discuss:

• What does it mean to live in peace?
• Where is peace needed most in the world today?
• How can people bring the gift of peace to others?

Allow time for discussion. As God’s children we are called to be peacemakers. Peacemakers treat others with respect and love.

Listening to the Word of God
In today’s gospel listen to Jesus give his friends the greeting, “Peace be with you.”

Read John 20:19-31.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why are the disciples afraid?
• How does Jesus greet his friends?
• Why does Thomas doubt Jesus?
• What helps Thomas to believe in Jesus?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the gospel using the Catechist Background section.

In today’s gospel the Risen Lord appears to his followers. They are gathered behind locked doors, afraid. Jesus greets his friends by saying, “Peace be with you.” The peace of the Holy Spirit is given to the disciples and they are blessed with the power to forgive sins.

Jesus’ greeting, “peace be with you,” calms the fears of the disciples. They are given the courage to go out and be peacemakers in the world. Followers of Jesus today are still given the same task—to spread forgiveness and peace throughout the world.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why is it important to live in peace?
• Who are some peacemakers that you know?
• How can Jesus help you to be a peacemaker?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Challenge of Peace
God created the world and all living things. War and violence threaten to destroy the gifts of God’s creation. We are called to care for God’s world and all living things.

In the Old Testament we learn that peace is living in friendship with God and God’s people. The Hebrew word shalom refers to a total harmony with nature, God and self. In the New Testament, Jesus brings the gift of peace to the Church.

The Church teaches that all human life is sacred. We believe that because of the harmful effects of war, we must do everything reasonably possible to avoid it. Pope John Paul II has spoken about peace. He has addressed the evils that threaten peace in our world and has challenged world leaders to make decisions that value life. Our understanding of peace is founded on respect for all human life.

• What is harmful to God’s creation?
• What does the Church teach about peace?
• Why is it important to respect others?

Sacrament Connection
In the Eucharist the Spirit joins us with Christ and one another in giving praise and thanksgiving to God for the blessings of creation and salvation. We are sent forth from Eucharist to “Go in peace.” Sharing in the Eucharist helps us to live as peacemakers in the world.

The Gospel in Life
How can you be a peacemaker at home and in school this week?

Posted in: Sessions B