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Reading for April 8, 2018
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala visited the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid after he died on the cross.
But Jesus’ body was gone.
Mary rushed to tell Peter, who ran to the tomb with another apostle. All they saw inside was Jesus’ burial cloths.
Peter and the other apostle went home while Mary stayed behind to weep.
As she was crying, she looked in the tomb and saw two angels. They wanted to know why she was so upset.
“They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him,” she sniffled.
Suddenly, a man appeared behind Mary. It was Jesus, but she did not recognize him at first. When she did, she was so excited and happy to see him.
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father,” Jesus told her. “But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary told the apostles all that she had seen and heard.
Later that evening, as some of the apostles were gathered in a locked room, Jesus appeared in their midst.
“Peace be with you,” he said as he showed them the wounds in his hands and side.
As the apostles rejoiced, Jesus breathed on them.
“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained,” he told his friends.
Thomas was one of the apostles who was not there when Jesus appeared. When his friends told him they had seen Jesus, he refused to believe 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,” Thomas declared.
A week later, Jesus again appeared to the apostles. This time, Thomas was present.
“Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side,” Jesus told Thomas, “and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas looked at Jesus.
“My Lord and my God!” he exclaimed.
“Have you come to believe because you have seen me?” Jesus asked. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Why was Mary weeping?
2. Where did Jesus appear to the apostles?
What lessons can you learn from “doubting Thomas”?
Jesus appeared to his followers a few more times before returning to his father in heaven.
For example, in Luke 24, we read that two of Jesus’ followers were walking from Jerusalem to the nearby village of Emmaus. As they walked along, another man whom they did not know started walking with them.
This man was Jesus, but his followers did not recognize him. The two men talked about Jesus’ death and how his body was missing from his tomb.
After the trio reached Emmaus, the two men asked Jesus to eat a meal with them. It was not until Jesus blessed some bread and gave it to them that they recognized him.
In John 21, Jesus appeared to seven of his followers, who were fishing in a boat on the Sea of Tiberias.
As the boat was coming to shore, they saw a man standing there. It was Jesus, but they did not recognize him until he called out to Peter. Peter was so excited that he jumped into the water so he could get to shore faster.
After Jesus fed them fish and bread, he turned to Peter. He asked Peter to feed his lambs and tend his sheep, which meant he wanted Peter to watch over the faithful after Jesus returned to heaven.
St. Conrad was born into a farming family in Bavaria in 1818. His parents were very faithful, and Conrad always had a strong devotion to Mary.
His parents died when he was 16. After that he became a farmer while also living a life of prayer and charity. In 1849, he joined the Capuchins as a lay brother and made solemn vows in 1852.
He became the doorkeeper at the shrine of Our Lady of Alotting, where he counseled pilgrims and cared for orphans. He served in that position for 40 years.
Conrad died in 1894, and we honor him on April 21.
Circle the names of the men who were among Jesus’ first 12 apostles. See Matthew 10:2-4 for hints. Note: The answers are hidden in blue below–highlight to see them.)
Peter Barabbas Jonah Bartholomew
Philip Zebedee Thaddeus Samuel
Answers: Peter, Bartholomew, Philip, Thaddeus