Word for the Weekend: May 1

Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio 

I'm late!  My post-Holy Week crash made me almost forget to post my weekly piece on the coming Sunday's scriptures.  So, it's definitely time to begin to prepare to hear the Word for the Second Sunday of Easter, May 1.

You'll find the scriptures and commentary on them here and if you're bringing children to Mass with you, tips for helping them prepare to hear the Lord's Word are here.

You'll note that through the whole Easter season the first reading each Sunday is from the Christian and not, as is usually the case, from the Hebrew scriptures. I'd count myself among those who find this to be a weakness in the lectionary. Our experience of the scriptures at the Easter Vigil (seven lections from the Hebrew and two from the Christian scriptures) is good evidence that this season benefits richly from the whole of God's revealed Word.

The first lesson for the day, from Acts, gives a snap shot of the early Church - a time when even Peter's shadow overflowed with healing power! We'll be hearing from the Book of Revelation each Sunday in the Easter season and this week's first installment finds John exiled on Patmos and offering us his mystical vision of Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last of all.

A contemporary rendering of the Caravaggio at the top of this post:  
Still Doubting by John Granville Gregory

Every year on the Second Sunday of Easter we hear the story of Jesus appearing to the apostles "on that first day of the week" and breathing the Holy Spirit upon them for the forgiveness of sins. And of course, this same pericope includes the story of Thomas, the doubter.

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