April 15, 2007
Opening Life Reflection
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
Read Acts 5:12-16.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In today’s gospel the risen Lord appears to the disciples. Listen to how the disciples are changed.
Read John 20:19-31.
• Why were the apostles behind locked doors?
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
[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
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?
The Gospel in Life
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
Connecting to Faith First® Original Edition