Year A: May 1, 2011
First Reading: Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Where the Sunrise Begins by Douglas Wood (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.” Kathleen Long Bostrom compares Peter’s speech about the resurrection to “seeing a sunrise for the very first time—not just seeing the sun rise but feeling the sun’s warm, glorious beams break through the chill darkness of the night” (Feasting on the Word, Year A, Volume 2, page 378). Douglas Wood tells readers “every moment brings the sunrise to someone… and the sunrise begins in you.” We know that the light filling our hearts is the light of Christ. At every moment the light is before us—like David, our hearts are glad, our tongues rejoice, and we will live in hope.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Hope Is An Open Heart by Lauren Thompson (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” In this text we read that hope, joy, and suffering coexist in genuine faith. This is what we have while we wait in the “not yet” for Jesus Christ to be revealed. At Easter, we remember the joy and hope we have in the risen Christ, yet we continue to experience and witness suffering throughout our world. How do we hold onto the hope and joy in the midst of our trials? Lauren Thompson addresses this struggle in Hope Is An Open Heart: “Sometimes hope feels far away. But hope is always there… Hope is sad tears flowing, making room for joy.” Thompson describes the expression of hope inside of us, and surrounding us, finally helping readers to see that hope is something that can unfold in each of us. This hopefulness, and the response it inspires, is truly an outcome of faith.
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31
Immi’s Gift by Karin Littlewood (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 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.’” Thomas needed signs of proof—the truth is, we like signs too. Immi lives alone in a white world of ice and snow, but at the back of her mind lives hope for a friend to share time with. When fishing, she begins to catch signs of beauty and shared presence. In gratitude, she sends a sign into the sea and shares her presence with a boy on a tropical beach. Through these exchanges, though they remain strangers, both experience that they are not alone. We also want to know we aren’t alone, that Jesus really is here with us. Our signs don’t come through touching his wounds, as Thomas’ did. Two thousand years later, we depend upon the signs and stories shared from person to person, place to place, and sometimes from people we’ll never actually know.
This Lectionary Links post was written by Noell Rathbun.