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April 7, 2024 – Divine Mercy Sunday

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Our Great Journey

This week our theme is “Peace be with you!/ La Paz sea contigo” based on John 20:19-31/ Juan 20:19-31

Opening Prayer: 

All pray the Sign of the Cross

Lord, Jesus Christ, we rejoice with all of creation because you have risen from the dead. As we celebrate the Great 50 Days of Easter, help us to understand the meaning of your empty tomb: death does not have the last word; light will triumph over darkness; sadness will be conquered by hope. Make us people of life, light and hope and help us to show and share our Christian joy with all. Amen. Alleluia.

In addition to our prayers from the heart, our prayer for April  is The Prayer to the Holy Spirit.  Please pray these prayers daily to learn. 

Using the Bible, invite a family member to read the Gospel aloud.

Things to talk about:

  • Sometimes, people call Thomas, “Doubting Thomas.” Why do you think he got that nickname?
  • What would it be like to see Jesus alive, after he died on the cross?
  • Why do you think it’s hard for some people today to believe in Jesus?
  • What do we say after the priest says, “Let us offer each other the sign of peace”?  How does that remind you of today’s Gospel?

Things to do:

  • Build a Fort—After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. Build a fort with blankets, pillows, cardboard boxes, etc. Hang out and play games, tell stories, or imagine what it was like for the disciples in the Gospel today.
  • St. John Paul II declared the Second Sunday of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000 when St. Faustina Kowalska, to whom Jesus revealed the Divine Mercy image, was beatified. Jesus told Sr. Faustina, “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.” This day is a chance to reflect on the mercy of God in our lives. Many people pray The Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00pm every day. You are encouraged to pray it today, on the feast of Divine Mercy. See the closing prayer. 
  • At 3:00pm each day this week (the hour of mercy), say “Jesus, I trust in you” and pray for an increase in trust in God. Set a reminder on your phone to help you remember.
  • The Easter Season lasts for 50 Days. Check out these resources to continue celebrating the Great 50 Days. Divine Mercy Sunday is a great day for Ice Cream Sundaes. (Recipe in the resources)

Closing Prayer

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Sign of the Cross

Our Father

Hail Mary

Apostles’ Creed

On the Our Father beads:

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

On the Hail Mary Beads:

For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

After five decades, conclude by reciting three times:

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Name those who need our prayers. Close with the Sign of the Cross.

Catholic Insights

Jesus’ first words after his resurrection are “Peace be with you.” When Jesus says “Peace, he has in mind the Jewish idea of shalom. The Hebrew word suggests the peace that existed at the beginning of creation, when everything God created was good and in perfect harmony. Jesus’ greeting assures the Apostles that all the damages of sin have been reversed.

We also hear about “doubting Thomas,” who demanded proof. According to Church tradition, Thomas became a great missionary and died a martyr’s death. Rather than looking at Thomas’ question from disbelief, we can look at it from a point of integrity. He refused to go along with the crowd until he had an encounter with Christ. As it was with Thomas, questioning led to an even deeper faith. We are those who have not seen but believed, but the Gospel leads our unseeing eyes to believe. Peace be with YOU.

Do you know …Someone who has stopped going to Church or started to question their beliefs? Reach out  and invite them to be part of the community again and come with you to Mass or Family Faith.

Resources adapted from 52Sundays.com, Celebrating the Lectionary, At Home with the Word, Celebrating Families, Sunday Connection


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