Second Sunday of Easter (C)
April 24, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



Rite of Sprinkling





God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Acts 5:12-16

Many signs and wonders were done among the people
at the hands of the apostles.
They were all together in Solomon's portico.
None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them.
Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord,
great numbers of men and women, were added to them.
Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets
and laid them on cots and mats
so that when Peter came by,
at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.
A large number of people from the towns
in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered,
bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits,
and they were all cured.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:2-4,13-15,22-24

R/. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.

Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let those who fear the LORD say,
"His mercy endures forever." R/.

I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just: R/.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it. R/.

Second Reading Rev 1:9-11a,12-13,17-19

I, John, your brother, who share with you
the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus,
found myself on the island called Patmos
because I proclaimed God's word and gave testimony to Jesus.
I was caught up in spirit on the Lord's day
and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, which said,
"Write on a scroll what you see."
Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me,
and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands
and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,
wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead.
He touched me with his right hand and said, "Do not be afraid.
I am the first and the last, the one who lives.
Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.
I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.
Write down, therefore, what you have seen,
and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards."

Gospel Acclamation Jn. 20:29

Gospel  Jn 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Reflection Questions

What are the "signs and wonders" you perceive being done today by Christ's disciples?

How are you experiencing the "distress of the kingdom" and the "endurance we have in Jesus?"

Do you have any conditions for believing?

 Catena Nova

Christ had to be patient with Thomas, as he always is. When Thomas said he wouldn’t believe, as when the other disciples too thought they were seeing only a ghost, Jesus showed his patience. It was because of his longing to convince the entire world that he so willingly showed them the marks of the nails and the wound in his side. It was for the sake of all who need such signs as these to support their faith. He wants us to have no possible reason for doubt. So, he even took food though he had not need for it. When anyone accepts what hasn’t been seen and believes on someone else’s word, the faith shown honors not only the one who teaches it but the One the teacher proclaims. Thus, faith in Jesus, who has been proclaimed without being shown, is worthy of great praise. Blessed everyone who believes the message of the Holy Apostles. As the Gospel says, they were eyewitnesses and so became ministers of the word. If you want eternal life, if you long for a dwelling place in heaven, then you must listen to these teachers and then go and help others find faith too. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

What, dearly beloved, do you notice in all this? Do you believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent then? And that on coming later he heard, that on hearing he doubted, that after doubting he touched Jesus, and after touching him he believed? This did not happen by chance, but by divine providence. Divine compassion brought it about in a wonderful way that when the doubting disciple touched the wounds in his master’s body, he cured the wounds of our unbelief. Thomas’ unbelief was of more advantage to our faith than the faith of the believing disciples, because when he was led back to faith by touching Jesus, our minds were relieved of all doubt and made firm in faith. And so after his Resurrection, Jesus allowed his disciple to doubt. But he did not desert him in his doubt….Thomas touched him and cried aloud: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, you have believed…. He saw a human being, and he confessed him as God, saying: My Lord and my God. Seeing he believed. He apprehended a mere man, and testified that this was the invisible God. We rejoice greatly at what follows: Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed. Certainly this saying refers to us who keep in our minds one whom we do not see in his body. It refers to us, but only if we follow up our faith with our works. That person truly believes who expresses his belief in his works. (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

Faith is the experience of divine breath... No intellectual argument can awaken faith; what it can do at best is to eliminate obstacles, prejudices and misunderstandings, and thus help establish the state of interior silence necessary for the divine breath. But faith itself is the divine breath whose origin is found neither in logical reasoning, nor in human moral action. The divine and flaming Word shines in the world of the silence of the soul and "moves" it. This movement is living faith -- therefore real and authentic -- and its light is hope or illumination. (Anonymous)

Our Lord has told us how we are to lead the risen life, and he has shown it to us. In his last discourse to the apostles he has told us. In the forty days on earth after his Resurrection he has shown us. It is to be a life of love, love that creates, love that fills up the measure of each life with joy. Love that is light and peace. Love that forgives and heals and sustains, that makes us one. Love that gives life to the world and gives beauty to life. Love that is food and clothing and water for thirst. Love that is bread. It is the love of the Eternal Father for his only Son, given to us, and it is given to us for ourselves and for one another. This love is not something insubstantial, to be lived only in the spirit. Christ chose a human body as the means to give us God’s love. He gave us his body in his babyhood, his childhood, his growing from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to manhood. He gave it to us in his labors, in the stretch and pull of his muscles, in the sweat on his face, in his beautiful artisan’s hands. He gave it to us in the delight of his senses, in eating and drinking and sleeping, in his fasts and his vigils, in his weariness and in his rest. He gave it to us in his dying on the cross, and in lying dead in the tomb; and when he came back from the tomb, it was not a ghost who came back, it was the same Christ with the same body, risen and glorified. (Caryll Houselander)

We too often forget that faith is a matter of questioning and struggle before it becomes one of certitude and peace. You have to doubt and reject everything else in order to believe firmly in Christ, and after you have begun to believe, your faith itself must be tested and purified. (Thomas Merton)

Where is my faith? – even deep down, right in, there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. – My God – how painful is this unknown pain. It pains without ceasing. – I have no faith. – I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart - and make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me – I am afraid to uncover them – because of the blasphemy – If there be God, - please forgive me. (St. Teresa of Calcutta)

Thomas found himself before the Messiah filled with kindness, mercy, tenderness. This was the Lord he was searching for, he, in the hidden depths of his being, for he had always known He was like this. And how many of us are searching deep in our heart to meet Jesus, just as He is: kind, merciful, tender! For we know, deep down, that He is like this. Having rediscovered personal contact with Christ who is amiable and mercifully patient, Thomas understood the profound significance of his Resurrection and, intimately transformed, he declared his full and total faith in Him exclaiming: “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28). Beautiful, Thomas’ expression is beautiful! He was able to “touch” the Paschal Mystery which fully demonstrated God’s redeeming love (cf. Eph 2:4). All of us too are like Thomas: on this second Sunday of Easter we are called to contemplate, in the wounds of the Risen One, Divine Mercy, which overcomes all human limitations and shines on the darkness of evil and of sin.... Let us keep our gaze turned to Him, who always seeks us, waits for us, forgives us; so merciful, He is not afraid of our wretchedness. In his wounds He heals us and forgives all of our sins. (Pope Francis)


The Benefit of a Doubt

            I feel sorry for Thomas.  He’s forever known by the epithet “Doubting Thomas.”  And I for one would like to give him the benefit of the doubt for a change.  After all, who can blame him for wanting to make sure this was the real thing that the others claimed to see -- and not some ghost?  Who can blame him for wanting to poke around and make sure this was indeed the same Jesus who was pierced with nails ten days before.   In other words, I’d like to give St. Thomas a little credit for wanting some proof.

            Because down through the ages all kinds of people have claimed they were in possession of  the “real thing” when it came to religion.  And there’ve always been other people who said, “Show me” -- people who probed those who insisted they were in the right.

Why, for a long time many Christians doubted if the Book of  Revelation belonged in the Bible.  A lot of people doubted John when he claimed, I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches.’

            The Book of Revelation took a lot of probing and was one of the last books enrolled in the New Testament.  But eventually the church accepted the truth of  John’s visions. And in this case, the doubting Thomases were on the wrong side of the fence -- no doubt about it.  But let’s be grateful for those who poked.  We needed them to look for signs of authenticity. 

            And just like then, there are many in the church today who are sure they’ve got it right, that their vision of the church is the correct one, that they’re the bearers of the true faith, the loyal Catholics whose voice should be followed, over and against others whom they believe are false prophets or wolves in sheep’s clothing – while doubts rage on every side.  And before we resolve our doubts one way or the other, the long history of disputes in the church shows how much probing needs to be done before we listen to those who say, We have seen the Lord ! (G).  And yes, we need a Thomas or two to look for the evidence, for the unmistakable signs of the real thing, and not just some ghost of Catholicism past which should stay buried.  Signs that those who make the claim are truly the messengers of the first and the last, and the living one. [Who] was dead, but see, [is] alive forever and ever (cf. II).  Amen. 

            Something like this happened to me over the secondary name given to this Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday.  Its origins lie in private revelations to a Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska as recorded in her Diary.  I confess that for a long time I had my doubts about the whole thing.  For years I had a copy of the Diary on my bookshelf, but every time I attempted to read it I couldn’t get past a few lines, partly because of my instinctive doubts about private revelations, and partly because I found the language of the Diary rather off-putting and, frankly, I still can.  In addition to my difficulties with the Diary itself, some of its more ardent promoters also made me leery.             

            I say this especially with regard to the practices surrounding today’s feast. These practices are connected to a promise that those who fulfill them will receive complete remission of their sins and the punishment accruing thereto (cf. Diary, 699).  I fear such things could easily become a works-righteousness approach to salvation which renders grace something earned, or worse a kind of fanaticism, even superstition, with respect to otherwise praiseworthy practices.  I wonder if devotees realize how the “great absolution” and “plenary indulgence” of Easter is the fruit of the Triduum whose celebration the Octave reechoes but does not supplant.   

            Now I’m happy to report that my original reservations regarding the devotion to divine mercy placed me in good company. One example suffices -- that of St. Faustina’s spiritual director, Blessed Michel Sopocko. His initial reservations was concerned Faustina herself. Here she was, a person of very simple background and yet, as he would remark one day, “I was amazed that she, a simple nun, with hardly any education, and without the time to read ascetic works, could speak so knowledgeably of theological matters, and such [difficult] ones as the mystery of the Holy Trinity, or the Divine Mercy and other attributes of God, with the expertise of a consummate theologian.” 

           Believe me, it’s true.  When I was finally able to delve into the Diary with profit, I remember to my own astonishment how some things read like a virtual treatise of spiritual theology with all the earmarks of theological learning and acquaintance with the masters of the tradition. (Sections 95-122 are especially instructive.) I was reminded of someone else who, given his background as a tradesman, astonished his neighbors, causing them to remark, “‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him” (Mk. 6:2b-3).

            And so the Diary of St. Faustina finally compelled me for the same reasons it did Fr. Sopocko.  Here are his words:

There are truths of the faith which we are supposed to know and which we frequently refer to, but we do not understand them very well, nor do we live by them. It was so with me concerning the Divine Mercy. I had thought of this truth so many times in meditations, especially during retreats. I had spoken of it so often in sermons and repeated it in the liturgical prayers, but I had not gone to the core of its substance and its significance for the spiritual life; in particular, I had not understood, and for the moment I could not even agree, that the Divine Mercy is the highest attribute of God, the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. It was only when I encountered a simple holy soul who was in close communion with God, who, as I believe, with divine inspiration told me of it, that she impelled me to read, research, and reflect on this subject….

            As she did me.  But I don’t regret the initial doubts.  Though I am glad they were finally given the benefit.  They might for you as well, even if you still need to poke and probe.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  And I won’t call you a Doubting Thomas – nor should anyone else. 


Intercessions  (Archdiocese of Adelaide)

May all Christians affirm their belief in the risen Jesus as their Lord and God, and have a respectful love for each other.

May Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrating the Sunday of Resurrection today, hear and follow the words of Jesus, Receive the Holy Spirit. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.

May those who have strayed from their Christian faith, rediscover the beauty and goodness of Christ during this time of the Resurrection and so return to him with thankful hearts.

May all parishes and communities in the Church be united in prayer and with concern for the sick, as was the first Christian community in Jerusalem.

May the people of Ukraine, filled with fear, find peace and courage through their faith in the risen Jesus and be reassured by his words, Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One.

May God save our world in its continuing time of crisis, because of the Covid pandemic, widespread hunger in Africa and Afghanistan, and the stress which many people experience.

May those who have died through war and violence receive eternal life through the name of Jesus.

God of life,
source of all faith,
through the waters of baptism
you have raised us up in Jesus
and given us life that endures.
Day by day refine our faith,
that we who have not seen the Christ
may truly confess him as our Lord and God
and share the blessedness of those who believe.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Hymn (Aposticha of Pascha; Byzantine Liturgy)


Glory be to the Father and to the Son

And to the Holy Spirit:

Both now and forever, And unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

O day of resurrection!

Let us beam with God’s own pride!

Let everyone embrace in joy!

Let us warmly greet those we meet

And treat them all like brothers,

Even those who hate us,

For in His rising from the dead

Is all grace and pardon!

Let all the earth resound with this song:

Christ is risen from the dead,

Conquering death by death,

And on those in the grave bestowing life!

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn (Jean Tisserand)


Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of heaven, the glorious King,
over death today rose triumphing.  Alleluia!

That Easter morn, at break of day,
the faithful women went their way
to seek the tomb where Jesus lay. Alleluia!

An angel clad in white they see,
who sat, and spake unto the three,

"Your Lord doth go to Galilee." Alleluia!

That night the apostles met in fear;
amidst them came their Lord most dear,
and said, "My peace be on all here." Alleluia!

“My pierced side, O Thomas, see;

My hands, my feet, I show to thee;

Not faithless, but believing be.” Alleluia!

How blest are they who have not seen,

And yet whose faith has constant been,

For they eternal life shall win. Alleluia!

On this most holy day of days
to God your hearts and voices raise,
in laud and jubilee and praise. Alleluia!