"Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

On this Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2013, we always hear the Gospel of Doubting Thomas proclaimed.  This Gospel always leaves me pondering two main questions: “Why do we have doubts?” and, “Why do we have faith?”

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2013 (2EasterC)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Readings
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: Is Jesus and God the same?

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading
Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 5, Verses 12-16

A large number of people . . . gathered, bringing the sick
and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

1. What is the connection between all these life-giving miracles and the resurrection? Discuss the apostles’ missionary efforts in the light of “Power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 13:4). Do you want Christ to use you on behalf of others? If yes, what are the implications?

2. “They were all cured.” What are some signs and wonders of God’s healing love that you see today?

Responsorial Psalms
Psalms 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

1. Have you ever been 'hard pressed and falling,' as was our psalmist? Describe how the Lord has been your strength and courage in times of trouble.

2. As the Psalm says, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.' Speak of how our Savior has become the rock you can rely on in your life.

Second Reading
Book of Revelation, Chapter 1, Verses 9-11, 12-13, 17-19

1. Once, when John the Evangelist is “caught up in spirit,” Christ touches him and speaks to him. Are there others in history, “suffering for their faith,” who have received clear understanding and revelations? Can good things come from suffering?

2. John says he fell down “as though dead.” Christ, “who once was dead but now is alive,” touched him and raised him up. Does this vision give you strength to do good things? Are you part of what, in Christ’s words, “will happen afterwards”?


According to John, Chapter 20, Verses 19-31

1. Why do you think Jesus breathed on the disciples when he gave them the Holy Spirit? What effect did this have on the disciples’ fear? How about your fear, and every aspect of your life? What do forgiveness of sin and resurrection have in common?

2. How do you resolve your questions/doubts? What is your attitude toward people who, like Thomas, doubt some truths that you hold dearly? How did Jesus handle Thomas and his doubts?

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your reflections on the above Sunday Readings with other ParishWorld readers. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont9:50 AM

    “I was hard pressed and falling,
    but the Lord came to me as savior.”

    Once again we visit this powerful psalm
    of praise and thanksgiving. This time the
    verses stress the enduring love that God
    has for us – so much so that despite the part
    we played in crucifying his Son, God went
    ahead and carried out His plan to save us.
    Jesus’ risen presence among us is living
    proof of God’s enduring love.
    “God’s mercy endures forever.”

    We may be 'hard pressed and falling,' or
    we may be spiritually sick and weakened
    by sin. Are we really any different from
    those Dr. Luke speaks of in our 1st reading,
    any less desperate or in need of the Lord's
    healing power and presence in our lives?

    Fortunately the Lord comes to us as Savior,
    as our psalmist says. And the Lord is present
    to us when we are frightened, as he was present
    to those frightened disciples in the upper room.
    Who would have been more hard pressed and
    falling than they were before Jesus appeared
    to them and blessed them and extended his
    peace to them? That same source of strength
    and might the psalmist speaks of is available to us –
    all we have to do is believe and open our hearts
    to receive his saving grace.

    As the psalmist says, the Lord is our strength.
    He is present to us, just as He was in those early
    days of the church described in our 1st reading
    and in the Gospel. We may not have the awesome
    experience Thomas had of physically putting our
    hand in the Lord’s side and our fingers into the
    nail marks on his hand, but He is with us.
    “The Lord comes to us as Savior.”

    We are victorious over death. The Lord’s
    deliverance is cause for joy. Just when we were
    down, the Lord raises us up. “I was hard pressed
    and falling, but the Lord has been my Savior.”
    “The joyful shout of victory is heard.”
    We are on firm ground after all.

    When Thomas put his fingers into the Lord's
    side, it was clearly a moment of victory for him
    and for us. Thomas was struck with awe, and
    came to believe, in that upper room, with those
    other righteous men. What does it take for us,
    though we have not seen, to get down on our
    knees and say, 'My Lord and my God.”

    Christ has become our cornerstone, as our
    psalmist reminds us. Christ has become a
    source of strength for us, despite his apparent
    weakness that day on the cross, when he died
    a shameful death.

    Only the Lord could have done this remarkable
    thing: “By the Lord has this been done; it is
    wonderful in our eyes.” This is cause for rejoicing --
    “This is the day the Lord has made.”
    Along with the disciples and the early church,
    “Let us be glad and rejoice in it.”