Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

Easter Sunday, Second and Third Sunday of Easter 31 March and 7 and 14 April 2024

Easter Sunday (John 20:1-9)

Christian faith proclaims: ‘Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!’ Without the resurrection, the real rising of Jesus to new life in a transformed and glorified body, there would be no good news to proclaim. The God of love is more powerful than death and sin, and God has shown this in raising Jesus, who became a victim of sin, to the life of the resurrection. The world is in dire need of news that is true, amid so many messages which are false, undermining, and deceptive. True hope lies in the God who raised Jesus from the dead.

Do I appreciate the fundamental significance of the resurrection of Jesus?

Do I have the vision to see the wonders God works in each human life?

We pray for those baptised and those received into the Catholic Church this Easter.

We pray for Christians for whom the cross is a daily and painful reality, that they will know that the risen Christ is at their side.


Second Sunday of Easter (John 20:19-31) (Divine Mercy Sunday)

The Gospel of John provides an account of the appearance of Jesus to the eleven in the upper room and a second account one week later. Jesus brings the gift of peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus, who has died for sinners, ensures the gift of forgiveness for all those who will seek it, the forgiveness available to us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The reluctance of Thomas provokes Jesus’ praise for those who believe without seeing. But Thomas should also be remembered as the one who give the fullest declaration of faith in Christ found anywhere in the gospels: ‘My Lord and my God!’

Do I treasure the gospel as showing the way to faith and life?

How does the experience of Thomas provide encouragement for believers?

We pray for a deeper appreciation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We pray for all those plagued by hesitation and doubt.


Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:35-48)

The Gospel of Luke gives us an account of the appearance of Jesus to the eleven in Jerusalem and his departure from them. The two disciples who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus have given their report. Nevertheless, when Jesus appears, the disciples are still slow to believe. They were not gullible individuals, easily deceived. They struggle to comprehend what they are seeing.

Jesus demonstrated the reality of his risen body. Though transformed, he appears to them in bodily form. Jesus teaches them, as he taught the two disciples on the road, that the Scriptures can help them to grasp what has happened. The writings of the Law, Prophets and Psalms have been fulfilled. Israel’s hopes and dreams of salvation have ben realised. The challenge of faith invites all people to embrace a new life. The disciples are sent out as witnesses to the world. The story of the spread of the gospel begins and continues today. The good news of Christ Risen must be told to all, beginning from Jerusalem, and extending to the ends of the earth.

Do I realise that faith is seeking to come to know the Risen Lord more fully day by day?

Do I strive for a love and deeper understanding of the Holy Scriptures?

Let us pray that the whole Church may be renewed in this Easter season.

Let us pray for the mission of the Church to the world today.

                                                                                                                              Fr Adrian Graffy