Cougar Dad's Club

Cougar Convers(at)ions - Dad's Bible Study

Next meeting: Friday, April 6, 2018, 7:30-8:00am
Location: Karen Vickery office (Lower School main floor)

Questions?  Contact Jason Neff, or 785.383.0927

Study Notes for Friday (4/6/18) meeting

Printable packet:

Study notes.6Apr18.pdf

READ: John 29:19-31


19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.



PERSONAL MEDITATION - Fr. John Bartunek, from The Better Part


The Church Gets Going


Christ who is God, supreme over all, has arranged to wash man clean of sin and to make our old nature new.


– St. Hippolytus



Christ the Lord


We call St. Thomas the Apostle “doubting Thomas”; we may be off the mark in doing so.  Jesus did not ask the other apostles to believe in his resurrection without showing them the wounds in his hands and sides.  Thomas was merely demanding his rights as an apostle when he demanded the same privilege.  And none of the others responded to the risen Christ with a faith as complete and firm as Thomas’: “My Lord and my God!”  Thomas knew what this meant.  He knew that if Christ has come back from the dead, then everything he said about himself, everything he claimed to be, was true.  Jesus blessed him for his faith. 


Our faith, and the faith of all Christians throughout the centuries, is built upon the solid foundation of the apostles’ testimony to the risen Christ, a testimony validated by twenty uninterrupted centuries of Church life, of saints and martyrs, of sacraments, Liturgy, and a college of bishops that links us directly, even physically, to that little group of frightened apostles who encountered the Risen One.  Blessed indeed are we who have believed: although we have not seen Christ in the flesh, we have seen, experienced, and benefited from the undeniable work of his Spirit.  In times of darkness and doubt, we know where to look to recover the light.


At the beginning of creation, “the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.”  (Genesis 1:2)  When God created man and woman, he “formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.”  The word for “wind” in Hebrew (and in Greek, the language of the New Testament) is the same as the word for “breath” and “Spirit.”  Thus, when St. John points out the detail of Jesus breathing on the disciples as he gives them the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the commission to carry on his work of evangelization, he is calling to mind the “wind” and the “breathing” of the first creation.  The Fathers of the Church understood this first post-Resurrection appearance to the apostles as the start of a new creation.  Jesus has won the forgiveness of sin, which marred the first creation, and dubs his apostles messengers and distributors of this forgiveness.  As they spread it throughout the world and build up the Church, all mankind is to be renewed, elevated to a more sublime intimacy with God.  As St. Paul put it, “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).





Have you ever taken the time to stop and realize the incredible gift you have in faith?  Look around you – think of the people you know who just don’t believe in God, or don’t believe in the Risen Lord.  Why don’t they believe?  If you’re like me, you would assign a variety of reasons for unbelief to the people you know.  Some don’t believe because they think it’s not rational.  Some because they have been hurt in some way and hold God responsible.  Some because they just don’t really care – maybe they are too caught up in the world or too depressed to believe the resurrection is for them.  While it can be disheartening to see unbelief in those we care about, it should also make us treasure the great gift of faith entrusted to us.


How can we better share that faith with others?  How can we better exude the joy of that faith with our children?  How can we teach them that “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe?”





  1. Why do you think Christ waited until eight days after Easter Sunday to appear to Thomas?


  1. St. John puts Christ’s conferral of peace on the apostles in the same sentence as “and he showed them his hands and his side.”  Do you see any connection between these two realities?


  1. How would your faith change if Christ appeared to you physically, as he appeared to the apostles?  What are the most meaningful signs God has already given to you personally that have made the most difference in your faith? 


  1. What signs have been given to your children to help them in their faith?  Have you made a point to highlight those signs for them, to assist them in recognizing them?



FURTHER STUDY: Catechism and Ignatius Bible Study Notes




645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his passion. Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ’s humanity can no longer be confined to earth and belongs henceforth only to the Father’s divine realm.510 For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith. (999)


Ignatius Bible Study notes:


20:19 that day: The evening of Easter Sunday.

20:20 his hands and his side: The point is that Jesus is raised not simply with a body, but with the same body that was crucified and died only days earlier (20:25, 27). He carries these marks of his earthly sacrifice with him even when he ascends into heaven (Rev 5:6) (CCC 645).

20:21 Peace: A traditional Hebrew greeting. See note on Jn 14:27.

20:22 he breathed on them: Anticipates the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, which will take place 50 days later (Acts 2:1–4). Here we see that the risen humanity of Jesus has become a sacrament of the divine Spirit (6:53–58; CCC 1116). ● John uses an expression that recurs in significant contexts in the Greek OT. It appears in Gen 2:7, where the Lord breathes life into Adam; in 1 Kings 17:21, where the Greek version specifies that Elijah resuscitated a boy with his breath; and in Ezek 37:9, where God raises an army of corpses to new life by the breath of the Spirit.

20:23 forgive the sins: Jesus’ ministry of mercy and reconciliation will continue through the apostles (2 Cor 5:18–20; Jas 5:14–15). The power to “forgive and retain” sins in the name of Jesus is elsewhere described as the authority to “bind and loose” (Mt 16:19; 18:18; CCC 553, 730). ● The Council of Trent connects this episode with the institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Sess. 14, chap. 1), by which Christ distributes divine forgiveness to the world through the successors of the apostles (bishops) and their assistants in the presbyterate (priests) (CCC 976, 1441, 1461).

20:26 Eight days later: The second Sunday of the Easter octave.

20:28 My Lord and my God!: The climactic confession of faith in John’s Gospel (CCC 448, 644).

20:30–31 A statement of purpose by the evangelist. He has written the Fourth Gospel both as history and as witness, in the hope that a factual portrayal of the Christ’s life will not just inform readers, but challenge them to accept him and his claims with true faith (Lk 1:1–4).

The Cougar Dads Club is open to all HSP men!  

The Dads Club offers HSP Dads an opportunity to interact and contribute through:

  • Periodic social activities - School kickoff social, Braves night, Pig Roast, and more!
  • Faith formation through bi-weekly Scripture reflections on the Sunday mass readings - our "Dads Cougar Convers(at)ions" (Friday mornings from 7:30-8 in the Vickery office at the Lower School)
  • Cougar Dads service day at HSP

Our biweekly newsletter - the Cougar Dad Cave - is designed to keep Dads appraised of Dads Club and Dad-oriented HSP activities, as well as provide ongoing faith formation through Scripture, the Church, and other media relevant for fathers.

Email Jason Neff, Cougar Dads Club leader at for more information.