In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear the story of Doubting Thomas, to whom Jesus says, “Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.” In the midst of these exceptionally doubt-laden times, we can take inspiration and comfort from these words. Our faith and trust have been challenged significantly over the past weeks, but when we continue to believe that the Lord truly is our shepherd, we can not only take comfort, but we will be blessed. Continue to share this trust and faith with your family over the coming weeks by exploring some of these activities.
Worshipping at Home: Divine Mercy Sunday
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated the Sunday after Easter. The feast day is based on the devotion to the Divine Mercy that Sister Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus. The celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday is an opportunity to reflect on how God’s mercy can overcome sin. Find the chaplet through 52 Sundays and pray it as a family.
Encounter: Share daily “God Sightings” (inspired by the story of Doubting Thomas)
Draw inspiration from the apostles in the Doubting Thomas story and take some time as a family today to talk about moments where you saw God this past week. Have each member of the family share a moment or experience like this, and remind kids that this could come in the form of forgiveness or offering kindness or love. Start with the oldest family member, and consider having younger children draw a picture to describe what they want to share.
Grow: Risen Christ Snow Globe
Take some time today to honor the risen Christ by making a snow globe.
You’ll need an empty jar with matching lid, waterproof super glue, glycerin or clear glue, glitter, water, and a small plastic figurine of the risen Christ or a laminated prayer card. If you don’t have a laminated card, try laminating one on your own with packing tape. Use the super glue to fasten your figurine to the inside of the lid and let completely dry. Using cool water, fill the jar nearly to the top, then add a few drops of the glycerin or glue followed by as much glitter as you’d like. Squeeze a thin line of super glue on the inner edge of the lid, then screw the lid on tightly. Allow the lid to completely dry before turning it over or shaking it. You may also decorate the outside of the jar if you’d like, possibly using ribbons or flowers.
Witness: Signs of Gratitude to Postal Carriers and Delivery Workers
Today, encourage those delivering mail or packages to your home with a note of hope. Decorate a sign to post by your mailbox or your front door with a note of thanks and a verse of blessing for your mail carrier and/or delivery personnel. This lets them know you appreciate what they are doing and that you are praying for them. Post a picture of your sign on social media using the hashtag #SpiritualCloseness
Encounter: Guided Meditation for Children
Help children encounter Jesus through a guided meditation on Sacred Scripture. Explain to your children that Jesus knows and loves them very personally, and if we quiet ourselves, we can hear Jesus speak to us in the silence of our hearts. Eliminate any distractions that may interrupt their prayer time, and invite your children to close their eyes and imagine themselves next to Jesus. Then read Mark 10:13-16, and ask them to silently reflect on what they want to say to Jesus today and to listen to what Jesus wants to say to them. Invite them to open their eyes and discuss their encounter with Christ. Ask them: How does it feel to be close to Jesus? Encourage your child to write a letter to Jesus or to draw a picture of themselves next to Jesus.
Grow: Family Time Capsule
Take some time to commemorate your family during this unprecedented time. Create a Family Time Capsule to bury or place somewhere that you will open in 10 years. Consider including photos, holy cards, favorite prayers or Bible verses, memories from the quarantine period or a log of everyone’s names, ages and grades. As we move into warmer weather, you may also consider other ways to connect your faith with the outdoors.
Saturday, 4/25/2020 (Feast of St. Mark)
Witness: Virtual Date Night
Make this Saturday night special by having a date night with your spouse. In this uncertain time where the coronavirus outbreak has forced the closures of restaurants, bars, museums, theaters, and other businesses and public spaces, it’s still imperative to have fun and connect with your other half. Now is the time to get creative with stay at home date night ideas! Check out this free virtual date night package that includes some recipes using pantry staples to make a meal to share, discussion questions to reconnect, and entertainment that you can stream and watch together.