SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER (SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY):
ST PETER CHANEL (1803 – 1841)
Entrance Antiphon: 1 Pt 2: 2
Like newborn infants, you must long for the pure, spiritual milk, that in him you may grow to salvation, alleluia.
God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Acts 5:12-16
The faithful all used to meet by common consent in the Portico of Solomon. No one else ever dared to join them, but the people were loud in their praise and the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily. So many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles that the sick were even taken out into the streets and laid on beds and sleeping-mats in the hope that at least the shadow of Peter might fall across some of them as he went past. People even came crowding in from the towns round about Jerusalem, bringing with them their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.
Psalm 117 (118):2-4, 22-27
R/ Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
1) Let the sons of Israel say: ‘His love has no end.’ Let the sons of Aaron say: ‘His love has no end.’ Let those who fear the Lord say: ‘His love has no end.’
2) The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone. This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes. This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.
3) Lord, grant us salvation; O Lord, grant success. Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes. We bless you from the house of the Lord; the Lord God is our light.
Second reading: Apocalypse 1:9-13, 17-19
My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure. I was on the island of Patmos for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus; it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet, ‘Write down all that you see in a book.’ I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle. When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld. Now write down all that you see of present happenings and things that are still to come.’
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 20:29
Alleluia, alleluia!Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’ Alleluia!
Gospel: John 20:19-31
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.
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, we pray, the oblations of your people (and of those you have brought to new birth), that, renewed by confession of your name and by Baptism, they may attain unending happiness. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Jn 20: 27
Bring your hand and feel the place of the nails, and do not be unbelieving but believing, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that our reception of this paschal Sacrament may have a continuing effect in our minds and hearts. Through Christ our Lord.
“We have seen the Lord!” Today like yesterday, the faith of Christians lies on the trust placed on witnesses deemed worthy of faith. Should we be “Thomases”, seeking to verify by ourselves, or by reason and science if the one who was crucified is alive? Should we lock ourselves up in doubt and disbelief? The pedagogy of Christ is laudable here. In his magnificence, Jesus comes to meet Thomas, he meets him in his world, and leads him to faith. “Happy are those who believe without seeing!” This beatitude is addressed to all Christian generations today. Faith is not a matter of scientific demonstration. Faith is about taking an existential decision which opens to abundant life in God. The evangelical or biblical stories are there to develop our faith in the risen one, “so that in believing you will have life in his name”.