Second Sunday of Easter, Year B

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Lectionary: 44
Read the Gospel: John 20:19-31

Gospel Summary
Three times in this Gospel passage Jesus says to his disciples, “Peace be with you.” The first time, he appears to the disciples as they huddle behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. The second time, he breathes upon them the Holy Spirit and gives them the power to forgive sins. The third time, Jesus again appears to the disciples as they are gathered behind locked doors. “Peace be with you,” he says to them.

Reflection for Parents
One of the best-loved Catholic prayers is the Prayer of Saint Francis. It begins with the familiar words, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” As you think about your role in the workplace, in your community, and most especially in your home, where are your opportunities to be an instrument of Christ’s peace? Can you offer a word of peace and healing to an upset child, an angry coworker, or a neighbor who has just received difficult news? Can you help end an argument or disagreement with a peaceful word or with a peaceful presence? As you go about your daily work and the routine of family life, echo Jesus’ words in prayer: “Peace be with you.” And join Saint Francis in praying, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Today’s Gospel reading reminds us that Christ gave and continues to give the power to forgive sins to the Church through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. If your family was not able to celebrate this Sacrament during the season of Lent, today—the Second Sunday of Easter and the Sunday of Divine Mercy—is a wonderful day to celebrate it. Many churches make the Sacrament available on this special Sunday of the Easter season.

Discussion Starters
In place of discussion starter questions, invite family members to quiet themselves. Then ask them slowly to repeat Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you,” several times, aloud and together. Ask family members to think of those to whom they want to offer Christ’s gift of peace. They may hold those names quietly in their hearts or speak them aloud. After a few moments, say together, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” Conclude by offering spontaneous prayers for peace in the world, in the Church, in your community, and in your family.