Faith Daily |19 April 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 502
Lord of all life and power,
who, through the mighty resurrection of your Son,
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you
in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise, honour and thanksgiving, now and for all eternity.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 20: 11-18
11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Mary Rose
A commentator (S.J Cole) refers to this passage as’ From sorrow to hope.’ He also notes that Jesus and the angels ask two questions – ‘Why are you weeping?’ and ‘For whom are you seeking?’. Since neither Jesus nor the angels needed to seek this information, rather they wanted Mary to think about the implications of the questions. In so doing she and indeed us will learn that seeking the risen Saviour will change our sorrows into hope!\
Mary had come to prepare the body for burial but finds the body gone. She immediately assumes that it has been stolen, though we are told there were guards posted so this would not occur. Both she and the other disciples have not grasped the reality of Christ’s resurrection despite his very clear telling of how he would be killed but would rise again. We cannot blame them for their incredulity, no one had ever risen from the dead!
Mary then encounters Jesus but, in her sorrow, does not recognise him. We remember also on the road to Emmaus the disciples also did not recognise him at first. We must remember how traumatic it must have been to witness Jesus’ crucifixion and the incredible sorrow his death would have meant for his family and close disciples especially. She assumes him to be the gardener and asks where he has been taken.
It is only when Jesus speaks her name “Mary’ that she immediately recognises him. ‘Teacher’ she says and her natural impulse must have been to embrace her friend and guide but Jesus prevents her, saying he hasn’t yet ascended to the Father. He then instructs her to go and tell the other disciples. God has chosen Mary to be the first witness to the resurrection. She goes immediately, and we can imagine she must have run to bring the good news, she has seen Jesus and spoken with him. How wonderful and earth shaking was her message – He has risen! Alleluia!
FINAL PRAYER John O'Donohue
"On this Easter morning, let us look again at the lives we have been so generously given and let us let fall away the useless baggage that we carry -- old pains, old habits, old ways of seeing and feeling -- and let us have the courage to begin again.
Life is very short, and we are no sooner here than it is time to depart again, and we should use to the full the time that we still have.
We don't realize all the good we can do.
A kind, encouraging word or helping hand can bring many a person through dark valleys in their lives.
We weren't put here to make money or to acquire status or reputation.
We were sent here to search for the light of Easter in our hearts, and when we find it we are meant to give it away generously.
The dawn that is rising this Easter morning is a gift to our hearts and we are meant to celebrate it and to carry away from this holy, ancient place the gifts of healing and light and the courage of a new beginning."