01 May – Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)
Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47
The whole community remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
The many miracles and signs worked through the apostles made a deep impression on everyone.
The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed.
They went as a body to the Temple every day but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously; they praised God and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold – only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire – and then you will have praise and glory and honour. You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.
There was a period of time, early on in my faith, when I doubted the existence of God. There just did not seem to be much reason for me to believe that there is a loving creator out there. It was only after participating in the life of the faith community, be it in school, in the parish, or ministries, that I experienced the grace of God’s love and became convinced that He not only exists, but that we are called to enter into a relationship with Him.
If Thomas had been with the rest of the disciples in the room and seen Jesus in the flesh, he would probably not have uttered those skeptical words of disbelief. It is easy to look unfavourably upon Thomas’ skepticism, and to use him as an example of someone lacking in faith. But the fact is that the other disciples needed to see Jesus too to be convinced of His resurrection. In Thomas’ case, he just demanded more concrete evidence, to touch Jesus’ wounds, rather than just look at them.
Jesus acknowledges Thomas’ faith in Him, then goes on to promise happiness to his would-be followers, who will not have the opportunity to see His physical being, but will encounter Him mentally and spiritually, in their hearts.
Besides celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday today, we will also celebrate the beatification of Pope John Paul II, who exemplified Christian living and inspired multitudes of people all over the world. May we continue to grow closer to Christ through his works.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Edith Koh)
Prayer: We pray that God will give us the grace to cope with our disbelief.
Thanksgiving: We thank the Lord for blessing the church with John Paul II as our pope, and for the legacy that he has left behind for the generations of believers to come.
Mon, 02 May – Acts of the Apostles 4:23-31; John 3:1-8; Memorial for St Athanasius, Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Tue, 03 May – 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; John 1:6-14; Feast of Ss Philip and James, Apostles
Wed, 04 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:17-26; John 3:16-21
Thu, 05 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:27-33; John 3:31-36
Fri, 06 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:34-42; John 6:1-15
Sat, 07 May – Acts of the Apostles 6: 1-7; John 6:16-21
Sun, 08 May – Acts of the Apostles 2:14.22-33; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35; Third Sunday of Easter