Season of Sundays: April 23, 2017 – Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday

Here are ideas for you to use in reflecting on the upcoming Sunday’s scriptures with your classes.

Readings for April 23, 2017 – Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday:

  • Acts 2:42-47 1
  • Peter 1:3-9
  • John 20:19-31

“He showed them his hands and his side.” (John 20:20a)

Jesus reassured his disciples that he had conquered death.

Teaching for Primary Grades:

Tell stories about the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection. All four Gospels offer a variety of accounts. List them on the board with titles or short phrase descriptions (examples: Mary in the garden; disciples walking to Emmaus; apostles fishing).

Hang newsprint along one wall of the classroom. Divide it into sections and use the board list to label them. Tell the children they will create a mural of resurrection appearances. Each child can contribute by choosing a panel to draw on along with other friends. When finished, groups can explain their panel by telling the story of that resurrection appearance to the class.

Teaching for Intermediate Grades:

Read or tell the story in this Sunday’s Gospel. Then invite volunteers to act it out. Select actors for the roles of Jesus, Thomas, and a number of disciples. After children present the scene, instruct the rest of the class to ask the actors questions about how they felt in that role, what they learned by being Jesus or a disciple, and what the appearance of a resurrected Jesus did for everyone’s faith and courage.

Gather the class for prayer. Reflect together on what it must have been like for the disciples to see Jesus alive after they had watched him die. Pray for a strong faith in the risen Jesus whenever life brings times of doubt, fear, and loss.

Teaching for Secondary Grades:

Using soft instrumental music as a background, invite students to close their eyes. Lead them through a guided meditation where they imagine the fear and deep sense of loss the disciples felt when Jesus died. Then recount the various experiences they had of Jesus’ appearances to them after his death and how that reassured and comforted them. How did these appearances prepare them for the future?

Give a journal assignment to the students:

Imagine or recall a frightening experience, a deep loss, or a sense of dread. Reflect on the role of faith in confronting and surviving this experience. Write about this. Include observations about how a belief in the risen Jesus can help handle whatever fears and losses the future may bring.