EASTER SEASON: SUNDAY 2 [C] — Commissioned to Witness to God’s Reconciling Mercy–Faith Known

JOHN 20, 19 – 31

19  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,

20  and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord,

21  and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’

22  After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.

23  If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.

24  Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

25  So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord,’ but he answered, ‘Unless I can 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.’

26  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.

27  Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’

28  Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!

29  Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

30  There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book.

31  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.





51YVQCPSK8LArticle 59 of the General Directory for Catechesis reminds Christ’s faithful that “The model for all catechesis is the baptismal catechumenate … inspiring the other forms of catechesis in both their objectives and in their dynamism.”  

518zDjbTjRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Catechesis of adults — and of adolescents and children — following article 75.1 of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults — thereby identifies the liturgical year with its celebration of the Word and prayer as appropriate in setting the direction and agenda for the continuing formation and training in the Christian life.

Themes for catechesis are generated by correlating the Gospel passage each Sunday with texts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC].



Belief in Jesus Christ, only Son of God

  • As Lord!
  • Appearances of the Risen Christ

Belief in the Holy Spirit

  • Christ’s Spirit in the fullness of time

Belief in the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

  • Mission of the apostles  

Belief in the forgiveness of sins


Sacrament of Confirmation

  • In the economy of salvation

Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

  • In brief


On God’s mercy

Joh 20, 28 > CCC 448

I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God … Our Lord

Jesus Christ is Lord.–Very often in the Gospels people address Jesus as “Lord.”  This title testifies to the respect and trust of those who approach him for help and healing.  At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, “Lord” expresses the recognition of the divine mystery of Jesus.  

In the encounter with the risen Jesus, this title becomes adoration: “My Lord and my God!” It thus takes on a connotation of love and affection that remains proper to the Christian tradition: “It is the Lord! (John 20, 28; cf 21, 7).”

Joh 20, 24 – 27 > CCC 644

I Believe in Jesus Christ … who Rose from the Dead on the Third Day

The appearances of the Risen One is a historical and transcendent event.–Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost.  “In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering.”  

John 20, 24 - 29 The risen Christ shows himself to Thomas Art Source: Mosaic by Rowan LeCompte and Irene LeCompte Resurrection Chapel, Washington Cathedral

John 20, 24 – 29
The risen Christ shows himself to Thomas
Art Source: Mosaic by Rowan LeCompte and Irene LeCompte
Resurrection Chapel, Washington Cathedral

Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord’s last appearance in Galilee “some doubted (John 20, 24 – 27; Matthew 28, 17).”  

Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up.  On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.

Joh 20, 21 – 22  >  CCC 730

I Believe in the Holy Spirit

The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time.–At last Jesus’ hour arrives: he commends his spirit into the Father’s hands at the very moment when by his death he conquers death, so that, “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,” he might immediately give the Holy Spirit by “breathing” on his disciples (John 20, 22).  From this hour onward, the mission of Christ and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you (John 20, 21).”

Joh 20, 21  >  CCC 858

I Believe in the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic

The apostles’ mission.–Jesus is the Father’s Emissary.  From the beginning of his ministry, he “called to him those whom he desired; . . . . And he appointed twelve, whom also he named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach.”  

From then on, they would also be his “emissaries” (Greek apostoloi).  In them, Christ continues his own mission: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you (John 20, 21; cf 13, 20; 17, 18).”  The apostles’ ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus said to the Twelve: “he who receives you receives me.”

Joh 20, 22-23  >  CCC 976

I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins

Through faith in the Holy Spirit and the Church.–The Apostle’s Creed associates faith in the forgiveness of sins not only with faith in the Holy Spirit, but also with faith in the Church and in the communion of saints.

 It was when he gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles that the risen Christ conferred on them his own divine power to forgive sins: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (John 20, 22 – 23).”

Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation Art Source: sjbyonkers.org

Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Art Source: sjbyonkers.org

Joh 20, 22  >  CCC 1287

The Sacrament of Confirmation

Confirmation in the economy of salvation.–This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.   On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit,  a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost (John 20, 22).  Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age.  

Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn. 

Joh 20, 22-23  >  CCC 1485

The Sacrament of Healing: Penance and Reconciliation

In brief.–“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles.  “He breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20, 19. 22 – 23).


Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Burns & Oates 1999, 2006.


We Walk By Faith (Mark 9, 24; John 20, 27-29)
Henry Alford / Marty Haugen
Tune: SHANTI, Marty Haugen

Without Seeing You
David Haas

Now the Green Blade Rises
John Macleod Campbell Crum

Lift Up Your Hearts
Roc O’Connor

Sing of the Lord’s Goodness
Ernest Sands






In appearing to his disciples after the Resurrection, Christ sent them on mission, breathing upon them the Holy Spirit.  

Baptised and confirmed in Christ’s Spirit we are made ambassadors of Christ to bring the reconciling love of God to others and in God’s creation.  

John 20, 21 Art Source: gordonjwatson.wordpress.com

John 20, 21
Art Source: gordonjwatson.wordpress.com

What ministry do I feel

called to

by the resurrected Lord

as one who believes in his risen life and mission?