Second Sunday after Easter – Year B

April 7 - 19

Gospel Lectionary Text

John 20:19-31

20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

20:21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

20:24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

20:25 So the other disciples told 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 in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."

20:26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe."

20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"

20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

20:31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


So, here we are in the first week of the resurrection alongside the disciples, locked in a room, filled with fear, unable to make sense of the events that have taken place. Suddenly, there is a divine break-in — the risen Christ enters into our prison and stands among us, completely and utterly at ease and unconcerned with all the ways we’ve betrayed and denied him. Not a hint of resentment! In fact, the first word of the risen Christ is “Peace.” He says it three times in this week’s passage!

Easter Peace is the place from which we begin to make meaning. It is the place from which we can see things as they really are. Easter Peace is the ground from which we begin to discover the truth of who God is. It’s from this place that Jesus breathes on us and we discover ourselves being forgiven. To give and receive forgiveness is what it means to bear witness to the resurrection. This is how we participate in the ongoing act of creation.


What locked rooms do you occupy and how is Easter peace freeing you from them?


As you contemplate the Christ Mystery, Inhale (I) and exhale (E) according to the prompts.

(I) Christ in me; (E) Me in Christ; (I) Christ in all; (E) All is well;

(I) Christ in me; (E) Me in Christ; (I) Christ in all; (E) All is one;

(I) Christ in me; (E) Me in Christ; (I) Christ in all; (E) All is Christ;

(I) All is Christ; (E) All is one; (I) All is well; (E) In Christ;

See the complete prayer

Word from Below Reflections

The Reality of Resurrection

At the start of Holy Week Manila and nearby provinces entered into another lockdown, causing difficulty for many, especially the most vulnerable. This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities. Many people in the under-resourced areas of Manila are living on daily wages, and when these meager means to support their families are cut off, you can...

Read More »

Waiting to Inhale

Martin Luther King Jr. was unsuitable for white teachers at my school, as he had not been thoroughly sanitized yet. And he was too theologically liberal to be mentioned in the pulpit of my church. The most I knew of him was that we shared a middle name.

Read More »

The Kiss of God

A few years ago I was sharing about my own experience of the risen Christ. I was speaking in parables and one young man urged me to “explain” myself more clearly. I was tempted to try. And then, in a flash of inspiration (sometimes my “inspirations” go terribly wrong), I paused for a moment and...

Read More »

Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison