This Rosary reflection concerns the story of Jesus’ appearance to His disciples after His death. His disciples gather in a locked room for fear of the Jews, who had killed Jesus. Jesus appears in their midst, gives them His peace, and breathes the Holy Spirit upon them. Thomas misses the moment and doubts Jesus’ appearance. A week later, he encounters Jesus, who asks Thomas to believe in Him. Thomas confesses his faith in Jesus.
The Scripture Account
This Gospel passage is proclaimed on the Second Sunday of Easter, The Sunday of Divine Mercy.
The entire Gospel account is found in the Gospel of John, John 20:19-31.
The Five Decades
When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the Scripture passage. Read the verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.
First Decade: Jesus Appears to the Disciples (John 20:19-23)
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Second Decade: Thomas Doubts Jesus’ Appearance (John 20:24-25)
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to 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 into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Third Decade: Thomas Encounters the Risen Jesus (John 20:26-27)
Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Fourth Decade: Seeing and Believing (John 20:28-29)
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Fifth Decade: Life in Jesus’ Name (John 20:30-31)
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
What to Remember
These Gospel verses reflect the story of the growth in faith of the disciples when Jesus appears to them after His death and resurrection. Instead of chastising them for hiding, Jesus gives His peace to them along with the Holy Spirit, as He breathes on them. Jesus re-invites Thomas to believe in Him, and calls those blessed who have not seen or touched Him.
As a follower of Jesus, you are blessed because you believe in Jesus, for you have seen Him with your eyes of faith. This gift of faith gives you life in Jesus’ name.
What to Pray For
- For greater faith to believe in Jesus and have life in His name.
- For deeper conversions for all believers and nonbelievers that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
- For your intentions:
When This Scripture Appears
This Gospel passage is often proclaimed as the Gospel at the liturgy of Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter every year.
* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible