The theme for the Second Sunday of Easter is Faith in the Risen Christ. The First reading, from St Luke’s history of the Apostolic Church, the Book of Acts, tells about St Peter, the one who, out of fear, had denied Christ (Matt 26:69–75) and been restored (John 15:19). Here, Peter performs miracles in the name of Jesus and testifies boldly before the Jewish council. He has moved from fear to faith. The second reading speaks of the revelation of Jesus Christ that was given to the holy Evangelist and Apostle John. Though Christians were being persecuted, and John himself was living in exile on Patmos, the vision of Christ, the One who died, but is alive forevermore, brings reassurance that the victory over death and Hades is complete. John has moved from tribulation to faith. The Gospel is the familiar account of “doubting Thomas,” who, when he saw the risen Christ, was moved to confess, “My Lord and my God.” Thomas has moved from doubt to faith.
Monday, 5 April 2010—Psalm 105:1–5, 8; antiphon, 1 Peter 2:2–3—The second Sunday of Easter is sometimes called Quasimodogeniti, Latin for the first words of the Introit, ‘Like newborn infants.’ Just as a baby eagerly suckles at its mother’s breast, so we, who have been given new life in Christ by His death and resurrection, also do eagerly desire the pure spiritual milk provided by our Lord for our nourishment and good growth. This He gives us through the preaching of His Word and the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010—Psalm 148—In Sunday’s psalm, the psalmist calls upon all of creation—those on the earth, those under the sea, and those in the heavens—to join in a chorus of praise to the Lord. Animate and inanimate, all of creation proclaims the glory of the Lord!
Wednesday, 7 April 2010—Acts 5:12–32—Jesus remained a threat to the Jewish authorities, even after He had ascended to heaven. Here, the apostle Peter is jailed for performing miracles in the name of Jesus. After he is miraculously freed by an angel of God, he is summoned before the Jewish council. Peter, filled with strength that comes only from God, boldly asserts, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Thursday, 8 April 2010—Revelation 1:4–18—St John, the only one of the Twelve still alive at the time of his revelation, sees a glorious vision from the Lord Jesus. The revelation, recorded for our sakes, gives great comfort to Christians of all times, whether they are living in a time of severe persecution or not. Jesus is the Victor! Just look at all this short section has to say about Jesus: He is the One who was and is and is to come, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, the Ruler over all, the Alpha and Omega. Having conquered death, He holds the keys to Death and Hades; these can trouble us no longer, we who are in Christ. His called ministers exercise these keys to forgive our sins, as the Gospel shows.
Friday, 9 April 2010—John 20:19–31—There are two appearances by the risen Christ in Sunday’s Gospel, each bringing us a great deal of comfort. In the first, Jesus establishes the Office of the Holy Ministry, and assures us that, in the words of the catechism, ‘when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they…absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.’ In the second appearance, our Lord appears to Thomas. Thomas wanted the certainty of seeing his risen Lord in the flesh, as the others had. When he beholds the wounds in the One who was crucified on our behalf, his faith is sure, and he confesses, ‘My Lord and My God!’ Thomas’s assurance is ours also. We need never doubt that our Lord is truly risen from the dead, ‘the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ (1 Cor 15:20)
Saturday, 10 April 2010—The Hymn of the Day, O Sons and Daughters of the King (LSB #470), recounts the story of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and particularly His encounter with Thomas. His words to Thomas are meant for us, also: ‘How blest are they who have not seen And yet whose faith has constant been, For they eternal life shall win. Alleluia!’
Collect for Easter 2—Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Image of Christ appearing to St. Thomas found here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/Caravaggio_incredulity.jpg
This week's Time in the Word written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who serves St. John Dexter and Zion, Casey, IA