Mercy and Doubt

Readings for Sunday, April 3 — Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Acts 5:12-16; Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; Revelation 1:9-11A, 12-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31

Suggested Reflection Questions:

  • After the Resurrection, Jesus apostles’ were called to perform works of wondrous healing and mercy among the people. As Christians and witnesses to the Resurrection, what wondrous works of mercy are we called to perform in Jesus’ name? What was it about the miracles performed by the apostles that helped people to trust in Jesus?

  • John, imprisoned on the island of Patmos, records his vision of the Risen Christ in the Book of Revelation. When John sees Jesus, he falls down on the ground with awe and fear. Jesus touches John and tells him not to be afraid. Jesus, both in his earthly ministry and in his risen glory, is always comforting, reassuring, and elevating those who would kneel before him. Jesus is a merciful king. Does Jesus’ interaction with John on Patmos establish a paradigm for the relationship between the powerful and powerless? If so, what does it look like?

  • Thomas has heard the reports of the Risen Lord appearing to the disciples. He responds that he’ll believe this news not only when he can see Jesus with his own two eyes but when he can touch Jesus and put his hands on (and inside!) his wounds. Jesus does not deny Thomas this opportunity. Thomas, like most of us hearing an extraordinary and seemingly impossible bit of information, had doubts. Is doubt the enemy of faith? What does this interaction between Thomas and Jesus tell us about how God perceives our doubt?