READINGS for 2009-04-14
THE BEST IS YET TO COmE
As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been… – John 20:11-12
Mary is ready to accept that she is life’s newest victim. For her, hope is like a doggy bag she settles for after believing Jesus that there will be a party but instead faces His dead body to wash. But is it really? Read this story... When the people in Colorado Springs, Colorado, learned that Jed Jackson, a popular local TV sportscaster, was losing his battle with cancer, they sent thousands of e-mails, letters and cards to him. In response to the outpouring of encouragement, Jed wrote an article that was printed in the papers the day after his death.
He wrote: “The Lord has blessed my life in every possible way. He has given me my wife of 19 years, my three splendid children and more friends than a man should be allowed to have. I am overwhelmed by the kind regards so many of you have sent. Truly, my cup runneth over. Never forget that, with Jesus, the best is yet to come.”
Maybe you’ve been praying for a miracle and God doesn’t seem to care. Or maybe, like Mary and the other disciples, you may be weeping over your dead Master. But remember, He lives! Never forget that in Jesus, the best is yet to come.Jon Escoto
Are you nearing despair and almost giving up? Hang on. The best is yet to come. Are you contented with life? Get ready for adventure. The best is yet to come.
Father, give me the grace to hope when I am discouraged. Give me the grace to thirst when I’m falsely contented. Let me have the glimpse of the best that is to come.
Repentance and Baptism are rarely separate entities in the New Testament writings; where one is mentioned, the other is often soon to follow. As disciples, we should never forget the central role of repentance because we often need to repent of our sins; such is our weakness for temptation. We should pray for strength, but let us remember that we have a God who is always ready to forgive.
Acts 2: 36-41
36 On the day of the Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people, “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” 40 He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.
P S A L M
Psalm 33:4-5. 18-19. 20 and 22
R: The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. (R) 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. (R) 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield, 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. (R)
G O S P E L
The death of Jesus must have caused a certain joy among His enemies. At the same time there was a distinct sadness and sorrow among His followers. The weeping of Mary by His tomb speaks of this most poignantly. I wonder whether she was weeping just for Jesus or for her own sins, her own part in the sorry tragedy of His passion and death? Probably at this time it was the former that took precedence, but over the years it will be the latter that is the most common response in reflection on the death of Jesus!
11 Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. 17 Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.
think: As disciples, we should never forget the central role of repentance because we often need to repent of our sins.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Exodus 19-21
mAry mAGDAlene, the First missionAry
Poor Mary Magdalene! Some think she was a prostitute, others claim she had a love affair with Jesus. The Gospels tell us only that Jesus had healed her from a severe physical illness. In gratitude, she stood near the Cross, was the first at the tomb, and dedicated the rest of her life to her beloved Master. Her loyalty is amazing and inspiring. No wonder that the Risen Lord graced her to be the first to whom He appeared. In this encounter, the Lord had to make her gently aware that, after His resurrection, many things have changed. He has entered a new mode of existence and His disciples had to learn how to Him beyond His physical appearance. He will be present through signs and symbols, in the Sacraments and in the Church. After His resurrection, He is present not just for one person or a limited group of persons but for the whole world.
The lovely encounter between the Risen Lord and Mary teaches also that whoever really loves the Lord must be ready to be sent by Him to proclaim the Good News. In a way, Mary Magdalene became the first missionary.
Missionary work is not first and foremost to convert pagans to Christianity. It means to be sent by the Risen Lord and to share the experience of having “seen” Him. We do not see Him physically like Mary and the apostles did. We see Him in faith; we see Him in the Church; we see Him in people who are deeply touched by Him and make Him visible.
Every baptized person is supposed to be a missionary. It begins with the parents who share their faith with their children and lead them to a future personal encounter with Christ in faith. A family that prays together and lives with Christ as spiritual center becomes missionary to neighbors and relatives. So does a healthy Christian community that reaches out in love and so proclaims that Jesus is alive. A Christian who refuses to take part in corruption and cheating on the job but lives honestly and upholds Christian values “preaches” without words that Christ is alive. It is possible. But first we have to allow ourselves to experience Christ in our own lives and cease claiming Him for ourselves only. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
What hinders me to be a missionary in word and action?
Risen Lord, as I contemplate Your encounter with Mary Magdalene, I beg You to transform me and make me another “Mary Magdalene” — loyal, grateful, and always ready to bring You to others.
St. Peter Gonzales, Priest, pray for us.
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