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Posts Tagged ‘Divine Mercy Sunday’

Discussion Guide For Divine Mercy for All here

Readings: Acts 5:12-16, Rev 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19, Gospel Jn 20:19-31

Image result for doubting thomas scripture

Reflection Questions

• Early followers of Jesus were fearful that authorities would persecute them and their families. Consequently many dared not join the Apostles in the Temple porch. Is there something you would like to join in your Church family but are scared for some reason? What would help you get over your fear? Do you fear your Priest? Public leadership in the Church?

• Easter changed the disciples. A presence and power of Christ comes out of Peter that heals the sick and disturbed. It is primarily actions and signs that helped people believe. What signs and wonders could be done by your hands to bring Christ to the sick and disturbed?

• John, the Beloved Disciple, the writer of the Book of Revelation, was exiled on the island of Patmos because he gave testimony to Jesus. Yet in the midst of imprisonment he has deep and enlightening revelations from Christ – dressed in white walking among the lampstands (symbols of Christian communities). John shares he experiences the distress of trials, a kingdom vision which sustains him, the endurance and comforting presence of being in Jesus. Imagine Jesus walking amongst the lampstands of Christian communities. Is your community ‘shining’? Is there any experience of the disciple John that you can identify with in your life at present?

• Fear was very real for the disciples of Jesus. If Jesus had been hunted and killed the same could be done with his followers. Violent persecution eventually changed toward another type of persecution. Converts from Judaism to Christianity would be disowned by family.
A ‘funeral service’ would even be held to cut a convert off from their family and community. These kinds of oppressive and violent discrimination experiences are still all too real in our world today. Do you recognize as a Christian the calling to be living an ‘alternative society’ to witness to God’s ways whatever the challenges? How does your life-style ‘challenge the world’? We also recall St Peter Chanel
today who experienced a violent death for being Christian. In what ways do you or your community stand in solidarity with victims of violence and oppression?

• While other disciples had believed in Peter and John and Mary, Thomas refused and placed certain conditions on his belief. He needed Jesus to be very real for him. Jesus responded to Thomas’ probing and questioning. Do you identify with Thomas or know someone who is like Thomas? What is their/your question or source of ʻunbeliefʼ? Ask Jesus like Thomas for what you need. How could you be like Jesus for unbelievers and make faith ‘real’?

• What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?

web: www.livingtheword.org.nz e-mail: nzlivingtheword@gmail.com. Livingtheword weekly download and resources this week by Fr Frank Bird sm, a Priest of the Society of Mary, and Bev McDonald ACSD and distributed by Marist Laity NZ www.maristlaitynz.org.

 

 

Reflection Guide Divine Mercy Sunday

Image result for My Lord and My God

Discussion Questions

• We are Easter people and Alleluia is our song. Easter lasts 7 weeks in the Catholic experience. It is called Eastertide and marks 50 days between Easter – Pentecost. What practice or ritual could you live for the next 50 days to truly celebrate the meaning of Easter and let its message get ‘under your skin’ and change you?

• The followers of Christ became a “community”. The love in their hearts was expressed in love to others – especially those ‘in need’. What transformation happened to the disciples to enable them to live so generously? When have you experienced God’s transforming mercy? Ask Jesus to reveal His mercy to you this week. What change am I invited to make in my life regarding possessions? How could I show deeper commitment in my parish community?

• Victory that conquers the world is ‘our faith’. Victory and conquer are ‘battleʼ words. Faith is to be victorious over the ‘world’– not by ‘water’ (baptism) alone but also by ‘blood’ (sacrifice) and the Spirit. Easter challenges us: am I willing to work with Christ to overcome injustice, discrimination and fear with mercy? Only then can Easter Sunday Victory swallow up the evil of Friday.

• It is significant that immediately after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples are afraid. Locked in a room. Scared. They are followers of a ‘rebel’ who has been crucified as a threat to the religious and political status- quo. Consider rebel fighters today as a possible contemporary image. Yet this rebellion is to bring mercy, peace and forgiveness. Can you imagine the scene; try to experience their fear and pray with it?

• The disciples are huddled in a locked room in fear and Jesus brings peace and the guaranteed forgiveness of their sins through the Holy Spirit in the Church. What is the source of your ‘un-peace’ and fear that Jesus wishes to heal? Share those fears with Jesus.

• Thomas likes to check the truth of things, he doesn’t believe simply because others do. Sound familiar? Thomas needs to see and touch Jesus. God honours that need in Thomas and promises that the transformative joy and happiness of Thomas and the other disciples can truly be ours today. We may not ‘see’ with our physical eyes but are promised that faith can allow us to experience the Risen Lord through His Spirit and to ‘touch’ His wounds and receive Him fully in Eucharist. We are invited today
to make the same full faith commitment of Thomas to Jesus – “My Lord and my God!” What do you need to help you believe, grow in faith and joy and put God in the centre of your life like Thomas? Spend time asking Jesus for that.

• The South African civil rights proponent Allan Boesak stated that Jesus, at the pearly gates, won’t question us about how well we carried out our religious obligations. He’ll only ask us to show our wounds, that are the outward sign we’ve spent our lives imitating him. God’s love ignites mercy
within us and through us for others. Mercy, forgiveness, faith, truth; theses take courage and form wounds of love within us. What if the only question Jesus asks on entry to heaven is: ‘show me your wounds’?

• What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?

 

 

Download 2nd Sunday Easter Yr B

Reflection Questions

  1. Easter lasts for 7 weeks in the Catholic experience. It is called Eastertide and marks the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost. What practice or ritual could you live for the next 50 days to celebrate Easter and let its message get ‘under your skin’ and change you?
  2. The followers of Christ became a “community”. A love in their hearts was expressed in love to others – especially those ‘in need’. What change happened in the lives of the disciples to enable them to share everything in ‘common’ so that there was ‘no-one in need’? What change am I invited to make in my own life with regard to posessions? How could I show a deeper commitment to my parish community?
  3. The victory that conquers the world is our faith. Victory and conquer are both ‘battle’ laden words. There is a ‘fight’ to be victorious over the ‘world’. It is not by ‘water’ (baptism) alone but also by ‘blood’ (sacrifice – martyrdom!). The real lived consequences of Easter challenge us: am I willing to fight the same fight Jesus endured to overcome injustice, discrimination? Only with this level of commitment will Easter Sunday Victory swallow up the evil of Friday.
  4. It is significant that immediately after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples are afraid. Locked in a room. Sacred. They are followers of a ‘rebel’ who has been crucified for seeking to over-turn the religious and political status-quo. Consider rebel fighters in Syria as a possible contemporary image. Yet the rebellion is one of bringing true peace and forgiveness. Can you experience the fear. Imagine the scene and pray with it.
  5. The final gift of Christ to his disciples as they huddled in a locked room in fear is peace and the guaranteed forgiveness of their sins through the gifting of the Holy Spirit in the Church. What is the source of your ‘un-peace’ and fear that Jesus wishes to heal?
  6. Thomas struggles to believe. He was not with the group as they saw Jesus for the first time. He wants to ‘see with his own eyes and physically ‘touch’ Jesus. He asks for some ‘signs’ to help him. What do you need in your life to help you believe and grow stronger in your faith journey? Spend time in prayer asking Jesus.
  7. The famous South African civil rights proponent Allan Boesak once stated that Jesus, at the pearly gates, won’t question us about how well we carried out our religious obligations. He’ll only ask us to show our wounds, the wounds that are the outward sign we’ve spent our lives imitating him. What if the only question Jesus asked on entry to heaven was: ‘show me your wounds’?
  8. What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?