Doubting Thomas | Questions


///John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery

///John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery

A compilation of over 50 questions
from a variety of sources

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God’s Gift of Peace



Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. Why do you think Jesus breathed on the disciples when he gave them the Holy Spirit? “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life … ” (Genesis 2:7). What effect did this gift have on the disciples’ fear? How about the Holy Spirit’s effect on your fear, in various aspects of your life? What do forgiveness of sin and resurrection have in common?

2 Where do you think we can find wounded people today? How does Pope Francis say we become witnesses of mercy?

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

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This Sunday’s reading begins on the evening of Easter Sunday and continues one week later—the second Sunday of Easter. Every resurrection appearance of Jesus dated in the gospels occurs on a Sunday. This Sunday is also Divine Mercy Sunday, declared by Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000. • Jesus appears to his fearful disciples as they cowered behind locked doors. He bears in his glorified body the scars of his Passion, showing he has the same body he was buried with and is not, as the disciples fear, a ghost (Luke 24:36-40). • Jesus reassures them by saying “Peace” (Shalom). Jesus breathes on them, imparting the Holy Spirit upon them. This anticipates the gift of the Spirit to be given to the Church 50 days later on Pentecost. It also institutes the sacrament of Penance, by which the apostles are empowered to forgive sins in Jesus’ name. • The apostle Thomas is not present at this first appearance and exp


  1. Of who or what are the disciples afraid? Of all the things Jesus must have said, why does St. John record “Peace be with you” three times (John 20:9, 21, 26)? How does this relate to their fears? To their being sent (John 20:21)?
  2. Compared to their fearfulness at the beginning of the Gospel Reading, how does the First Reading show how they were later transformed by the experience of Christ’s Resurrection? From where does the power for this transformation come from (see Second Reading, Revelation 1:7-18)?
  3. How does Thomas’ personality compare with Mary Magdalene’s (John 20:13)? To the other disciples (John 20:9, 19)? How does Jesus deal with Thomas’ doubt (John 20:29)?
  4. Under what circumstances are you liable to exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” along with Thomas? How might that prayer become more that a mere formula?
  5. Where could you use Jesus’ “peace” right now: in some relationship? In some inner fear? In your work? What doubts or questions about
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

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  • Why were the disciples behind locked doors?
  • What did Jesus first say when he came and stood before the disciples?
  • What did Jesus show them?
  • What happened when Jesus breathed on the disciples?
  • How did Thomas react to the news that Jesus appeared to the disciples in his absence?
  • How did Thomas come to believe in Jesus?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  1. Are you able to believe in things that you can not see?
  2. Explain whether or not you can you relate to Thomas in the gospel reading.
  3. Why does Jesus bless those who believe without seeing?
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings

He is Risen

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SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

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  1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention? Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some other way? The facilitator can decide which is more helpful: to share the next questions with the whole group, or to share in smaller groups of three or four.
  2. In the second reading, we hear the following words: “Do not be afraid…I hold the keys of death.” How do these words of Jesus comfort you?
  3. Some scholars note that Thomas missed out initially because he had withdrawn from the community. Do Christians today miss out when they are not part of a Christian community? If so, how?
  4. Have you ever experienced doubt or have had a faith crisis in your Christian journey? If so, what was that like for you? What helped you to get through that difficult time?
  5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

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1. Have you noticed that Jesus did not promise the gift of peace: he gives that gift! Do you see the Church as the recipient of that gift? Do you see yourself having been given peace by Christ? In what ways? Describe the many gifts of peace given to the Church and the many gifts of peace given to you. Have you ever felt Christ breathing in your face? (He does not breathe down our necks! He breathes upon us face to face, imparting the Holy Spirit which brings peace).

2. Describe how you have come to appreciate the “doubting” of Thomas and what you have learned about believing from your own experience of doubting. Tell your family about some of the doubts you have had about God, about Jesus, about the Church, the sacraments, eternal life, life after death, the forgiveness of sins, etc. Share with others how those doubts have been turned into faith by Jesus coming close to you and showing you his wounds in your own suffering or in illness or in sorrow.

3. What are some of the powerful signs that the Church uses today to communicate the fullness of divine revelation? Music, art, TV, the Internet, movies, newspapers, books and magazines? If you were making a TV program about the triumph of God over all the evils and sufferings of the world, how would you proceed? Are there some better ways to spread the good news? What should this diocese do differently? What should your parish do?

SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

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Pointers for Prayer

1. “Peace be with you” was the greeting of Jesus on meeting his frightened apostles. Who has come to you bringing peace at times when you were afraid? To whom have you been able to bring peace?

2. Thomas, doubting and questioning, is possibly a person with whom we can identify. What part have doubting and questioning played on your faith journey? How has your faith been strengthened by such moments?

3. Note the way that Jesus dealt with Thomas. He did not give out because he doubted. He accepted how he felt and led him along to see the truth of his resurrection. Who has been that kind of teacher for you, gently taking you where you were and leading you to a deeper knowledge about some truth about life? For whom have you been that kind of teacher?

4. “Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believed”. That requires great trust. Perhaps you have had the experience of being trusted without having to justify every step along the way. What was it like to be trusted in that way? Whom have you been able to trust in a similar manner?

PRAYER:  God of life, source of all faith, through the waters of baptism you have raised us up in Christ and given us life that endures. Day by day, refine our faith that we who have not seen the Christ, may truly confess him as our Lord and God, and share the blessedness of those who believe. Grant this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who lives and signs with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


Reflections by Bishop Jim Golka

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