Resources, Prayers, Games, and Lesson Plans
More Thoughts and Reflection Questions
Quotes and Social Media Graphics
Mass Readings for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
- First Reading – Acts 2:42-47: In the early Christian community in Jerusalem, believers were united in heart and mind, shared all their possessions, and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. As a result, many signs and wonders were done, and the community grew in number and favor.
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 118: This psalm expresses gratitude to the LORD for his enduring mercy and love. The psalmist recounts how the LORD saved him from distress and how the rejected stone became the cornerstone, inviting all to rejoice in the day the LORD has made.
- Second Reading – 1 Peter 1:3-9: The apostle Peter speaks of the hope and salvation that believers in Jesus Christ have, which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. He encourages the readers to endure trials because their faith will be refined and ultimately lead to the praise, glory, and honor of Christ.
- Gospel – John 20:19-31: Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection, and shows them his wounds. Thomas, one of the disciples, doubts their testimony until Jesus appears to him and invites him to touch his wounds, after which Thomas proclaims him as Lord and God.
Themes for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
The readings for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A (the 2nd Sunday of Easter) help us reflect on the boundless mercy of God. The first reading tells how the early Christian community lived in peace, sharing with each other. The psalm reminds us that God’s love is eternal. The second reading speaks of having faith in the resurrection. And in the gospel Jesus shows mercy to Thomas, even in his doubts
- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – This is a central theme in the readings for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A, as it is through Christ’s resurrection that we receive mercy and forgiveness for our sins. The readings testify to the fact that Jesus conquered death and sin, and that through his resurrection, we are able to experience new life and hope.
- Divine Mercy and Forgiveness – This theme is particularly evident in the Gospel reading of John 20:19-31, where Jesus appears to his disciples and offers them peace and forgiveness. He commissions them to carry out his mission of forgiveness and mercy, and grants them the power of the Holy Spirit to do so.
- Faith and Trust in Jesus – Throughout the readings, there is an emphasis on the importance of faith and trust in Jesus. This is particularly evident in the story of Thomas, who initially doubted the testimony of the other disciples, but ultimately came to believe through his encounter with the risen Christ.
- Witnessing to the Resurrection – The disciples were called to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus, and this remains the mission of the Church today. Through our words and actions, we are called to testify to the reality of the resurrection and to share the good news of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
- The Gift of the Holy Spirit – The readings emphasize the importance of the Holy Spirit in empowering the disciples to carry out their mission. It is through the Holy Spirit that they are able to forgive sins and to be witnesses to the resurrection.
- The Mission of the Church – The readings also highlight the mission of the Church, which is to proclaim the good news of God’s mercy and forgiveness to the world. This mission is grounded in the reality of the resurrection and is empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- God’s love and compassion for humanity – The readings reveal the depth of God’s love and compassion for humanity, as demonstrated through his mercy and forgiveness. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus offers us the gift of new life and the hope of eternal salvation.
- The power of faith to overcome doubt and fear – Finally, the readings for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A show us that faith has the power to overcome doubt and fear. Like Thomas, we may struggle with doubt and uncertainty, but through faith and trust in Jesus, we can experience the peace and joy that comes from knowing the risen Christ.
See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A.
Resources for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
All Things Visible and Invisible – A Lesson Plan on Believing
All Things Visible and Invisible – A Lesson Plan on Believing
This reflection will help youth think about what it means to believe in something which can’t be seen. How do we know it is real? This incorporates the gospel for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A.
Litany of Belief
This litany of belief is a prayer based upon the prayer of the father of the boy possessed by a demon (Mark 9:24) and the profession of faith of St. Thomas the Apostle (John 20:28) from the gospel for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A.
Divine Mercy Chaplet
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a devotion which reminds us that God is merciful and that we too must show mercy. We pray for mercy for ourselves and the whole world.
St. Faustina Kowalska
St. Faustina is known for her diary and for promoting devotion to Jesus as the King of Mercy which is particularly done by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Homilies and Reflections for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
Agents of Divine Mercy (Bishop Robert Barron)
What Do We Mean by Mercy? (Jeff Cavins)
The Mystical Union of Christ and His Church (Bishop Robert Barron)
His Mercy Endures (Scott Hahn)
A video homily for Divine Mercy Year A from Bishop Robert Barron. “Friends, we continue our celebration of the Easter season on this Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. Mercy, St. Thomas Aquinas says, is compassion in regard to someone else’s suffering; thus, God’s mercy is his compassion reaching out to us precisely in our suffering. Keep that in mind as we walk through the Gospel passage for this week from John: the extraordinary account of the risen Jesus appearing to his disciples. Christ has been sent into the world as an agent of God’s mercy, answering our sin and woundedness with forgiving love. And the same Christ breathes on us, giving us the Holy Spirit, and sends us into the world with the same mission.”
What Do We Mean by Mercy?
Jeff Cavins offers insights on the readings for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday Year A. By mercy we mean God’s love and grace meeting our suffering and difficulty.
The Mystical Union of Christ and His Church
A homily for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A from Bishop Robert Barron. “Jesus has come to bring us the divine life. Under his influence we become peaceful, unafraid, evangelizing, and forgiving. Through the Church, saints are made. This is because Christ is at the very center of the Church.”
His Mercy Endures
A reflection for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A from Scott Hahn. “We are children of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Through this wondrous sign of His great mercy, the Father of Jesus has given us new birth, as we hear in today’s Epistle.” Continue reading.
What Jesus Didn’t Say to Thomas
A homily from Fr. Richard Rohr for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A. When our friends let us down, we want to let them know about it. “Where were you?” “You weren’t there when I needed you.” “Cowards!” But Jesus doesn’t say any of these things. Instead he does something extraordinary, something which takes us back to the creation of Adam.
More Thoughts for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
Peace and Forgiveness
After the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were hiding in fear. They were afraid that they would be arrested and put to death just like their leader. But then, Jesus appears to them and says, “Peace be with you.” This is not just a greeting but a message of reassurance. Jesus is telling them that they do not need to be afraid anymore because he is with them.
He then shows them his wounds, which is a powerful sign of forgiveness. Jesus forgives his disciples for abandoning him during his crucifixion. He does not hold their fear or doubt against them. Instead, he offers them peace and forgiveness.
But Thomas is not there when Jesus appears. When the other disciples tell him that they have seen the Lord, he doubts their words. He wants to see the wounds for himself. And when Jesus does appear to him, he believes. But Jesus tells him, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” This is a message to all of us that we do not need to see Jesus physically to believe in him. We can have faith in him through our own experiences and the experiences of others.
As Catholics, this passage for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A reminds us of the power of forgiveness and faith. Jesus forgave his disciples even though they were afraid and doubted him. And he offers us the same forgiveness and reassurance. We are called to have faith in Jesus even when we cannot see him. We can find peace in his presence and forgiveness for our sins. May we always be open to receiving Jesus’s message of peace and forgiveness, and may our faith in him be strong and unwavering.
The Scars Remain
Thomas was skeptical of the other disciples’ claims about Jesus’ resurrection, as he thought it might be a trick or an imposter. He insisted on seeing Jesus’ wounds to verify their authenticity, which Jesus ultimately showed him. Even after his resurrection, Jesus still had scars.
As Christians, we too carry scars, as being a disciple does not exempt us from experiencing them. Some scars may manifest physically, such as rough hands from serving at a soup kitchen, while others may be emotional, like the wounds caused by others that we forgive but still carry in our hearts.
Being a disciple has a lasting impact, much like Jesus, we must be prepared to accept and live with our scars. When it becomes unbearable, we can turn to Jesus, knowing that he understands our struggles.
The Importance of Community
The first reading and the gospel for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A both emphasize the importance of community in the Christian faith. In the gospel, we see the disciples gathered together in a room, afraid and unsure of what to do next. When Jesus appears to them, he offers them peace and reassurance, showing them his wounds and forgiving them for their abandonment.
Similarly, in Acts 2:42-47, we see the early Christian community gathered together in devotion to the teachings of the apostles, in fellowship with one another, sharing their resources, and praising God together. This passage emphasizes the importance of being in community with other believers, sharing in each other’s lives, and providing for each other’s needs. The sense of community described in this passage is a powerful example of how we can support and encourage each other in our faith journeys.
Both of these passages for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A remind us that we are not meant to live out our faith alone, but rather in community with other believers. We are called to be there for each other in times of doubt and fear, to offer support and encouragement, and to share in the joys and struggles of life together. Through our relationships with one another, we can bear witness to the love of Christ and grow in our own faith.
Reflection Questions for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
- How do you understand the concept of God’s mercy? What does it mean to you personally?
- The Gospel reading for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A is the story of Doubting Thomas. Have you ever had doubts about your faith? How did you work through them?
- How can we learn from the wounds and scars of our own discipleship journeys? What can we do to support and encourage others who are struggling in their faith?
- In the first reading, the early Christian community is described as being “of one heart and mind.” How do you see this unity being lived out in your own community or church?
- How can you extend God’s mercy to others in your daily life? Is there someone in your life who you need to forgive or show compassion to?
- How can you deepen your trust in God’s mercy? Are there any spiritual practices or disciplines that can help you to do this?
- What actions can you take to show mercy to the most vulnerable members of our society, such as the poor, marginalized, and oppressed?
- How does the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday inspire you to live out your faith more fully throughout the year?
- How can we work to create a world that reflects God’s mercy and love for all people? What role can we play in promoting justice and peace?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”John 20:27
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”John 20:22-23
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