Easter is where Christian faith begins. It celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. The Church often baptizes new believers at Easter time. Spirit is about a young woman who wakes up to what she believes at a baptism. For some people, believing is as natural as breathing; others journey a longer way through doubting and questioning. They may find people in their lives whose faith opens their hearts and minds to the teachings of Jesus. The song “Open Hands” is about opening ourselves up to the possibilities that come with faith and embracing a wider community that encourages and sustains us.
Key Lines: I’m placing all my trust / Into a higher love / You’re dreaming bigger dreams / You have a plan for me / And though I cannot see / Here I am with open hands
Questions: Where are you on your faith journey? How do you describe yourself as a believer? How do examples of faith in other people inspire you? Who has influenced your believing? What baptisms have you witnessed? What does baptism mean to you?
When someone we love dies, it can seem like the end of the world. This week’s Spirit deals with loss. It also deals with resurrection. The stories in this issue tell us that while someone may not physically be with us any longer, they live in our hearts and minds. The song “One Call Away” reminds us that when we need to be supported (or when someone needs our support), all we have to do is ask. We’re not alone, not without them.
Key Lyrics: No matter where you go / You know you’re not alone / I’m only one call away / I’ll be there to save the day / Superman got nothing on me / I’m only one call away
Questions: When have you lost someone you loved? What do you most remember about the person? In what way do you experience the person still with you? How have you helped someone through an illness? How did the illness affect your relationship?
Gospel Reflection for March 31/April 7, Easter Sunday/2nd Sunday of Easter: For Jesus’ friends the time after his death and resurrection is a confusing and frightening time. Jesus’ tomb is empty. His disciples do not understand God has raised Jesus from the dead; they do not expect his resurrection and return to them. In the presence of Jesus risen and among them, his friends discover the love of God is more powerful than anything we can imagine.
Key lines: I will be brave/I will not let anything take away/What’s standing in front of me?Every breath/Every hour has come to this/One step closer/I have died every day waiting for you/Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you/For a thousand years/I’ll love you for a thousand more
Questions: How does the story of Jesus’ resurrection give you hope? How do you imagine Mary Magdalene feels when she thinks Jesus is gone and then realizes he is alive and hears him speak her name? Describe the loss of someone you live. How does the promise of Jesus’ resurrection affect how you feel about what happened? Why do you think Thomas doubts his friends’ story? How is Jesus’ resurrection a message of God’s love for us?