Now that my kids are somewhat older, crafts are not always the thing that excites them. Hence, yesterday, I was trying to come up with something that would help them think about the Divine Mercy Gospel for today. Right now, my older two love Mad Libs, and I started to type up the Gospel reading with spaces as a Mad Lib. Thankfully, God likes to remind me that fun is not always reverent.
So instead, I’m offering this up as a reflection for moms. Ponder the missing words, and how you would honestly fill them in – whether that’s with the original text, or with your own words. We’ve heard this Gospel reading so many times, it often just washes over us without sinking in. This is only the first part, but hopefully, it will help. Then, scroll down for some family activities.
Gospel Reflection for Moms
Read the entire Gospel on USCCB.org, or better yet, straight from your Bible, John 20: 19-31.
“On the ______________ of that first day of the week, when the _______ were locked,”
When do you start to lose sight of your purpose? How do we fortify ourselves through the whole day?
What do you lock out of fear? Is it just the doors to your house, or is it your mouth to speaking the truth, your heart to being loved, your eyes to seeing what’s happening around you?
“where the __________ were for fear of the ______________, Jesus came and stood”
Who do you lock away with you?
What are you scared of?
“in their midst and said to them, “____________________________.”
When do we hear this in the Mass? Look it up! What are it’s origins in celebrations of the early Church?
What is peace? Where is it lacking in your life?
“When he had said this, he showed them his __________ and his _________.”
What does Jesus have to show you before you will believe in him?
How many miracles, how many acts of love must He do to show you how much He loves you?
“The Disciples ____________ when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “________________________.”
What helps you recognize God’s voice? What is your reaction when you hear it? Do you stay close, in awe and wonder, or run away in fear and selfishness?
Notice that they don’t instantly recognize that it’s him. Just as at the empty tomb, He has been transformed. How are you transforming yourself as we await our exit from this pandemic? Archbishop Gustavo, in his Easter homily, expressed that we cannot go back to our old life. We must be transformed. Our lives should not look the same.
What does he say to you?
“As the ___________ has sent me, so I send__________.”
Who has made your to-do list? Who has sent you? Is it only you? Is it your family or friends? Or is it God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, who sets your priorities?
Do you think He’s calling you? Or is His call only for others?
“And when he had said this, he _________________ on them and said to them, “Receive the _________________.”
When you recognize His voice and accept your mission, what graces does He give you to fulfill the work? How?
Have your refused the blessings of the Holy Spirit? Do you say no to help from others or their good counsel? Or do you truly receive them in humility and gratitude?
“Whose sins you forgive are _____________. Whose ________ you retain are ___________.”
Are you hoping that you can forgive on earth, and hope for punishment of wrongdoers after death? Or do you want all souls to be in heaven?
What is it you are holding on to?
If you continue reading the Gospel, notice that the Disciples are still locked in the room a week later! They saw Jesus, He gave them the Holy Spirit by breathing on them, and still they didn’t move! How many times do you think Christ usually has to call you, bless you, show you signs so you might believe, just to get you to unlock the door?
Family Activities for Divine Mercy Sunday
Create the Divine Mercy image. You could paint it, draw it, color in this coloring sheet from TheCatholicKid.com, or even sidewalk chalk it on your driveway! Make it into a stained glass window that the neighborhood can see!
Explore the Sign of Peace with your kids. We’re all missing out on sharing peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. How can we share it spiritually instead? Research the history of how it looked in the early church. Take a minute to say the words the priest repeats every Mass surrounding the Sign of Peace, or even encourage your kids to make a prayer card of them.
Trace Dad’s hand and cut it out. Put a hole in the middle. Then, trace the kids’ hands and cut them out. Let the kids use their paper hands to “feel” the wounds in “Christ’s” hand like Thomas did.
Make a video of the Sign of Peace being passed along. Use each person in your household, and then make the last gesture with your hand out of the screen. Ask friends to do the same, starting with a hand off-screen. Have someone put them all together in a seamless steam like this pass the ball video challenge.