RECOGNIZING THE RISEN LORD
It is not always easy to recognize the risen Lord. This was the experience of Mary Magdalene. We too, are asked, “Whom are you seeking?” Are we really seeking the Lord Jesus? Do we recognize him not only in our prayers and during the reception of the Holy Eucharist, but also when he walks by our side in our sufferings and in our joys, in the people around us, and in the ordinary events and circumstances of life? Jesus is indeed our Lord and Messiah. Mary Magdalene recognized him when she heard his voice. Are we really in love with him and attuned to his Good News that we can say when hearing him: “It is you, Lord, speaking to me.”
1 Reading ACTS 2:36-41
On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people,
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made him both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”
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?”
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.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.
Responsorial Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 AND 22
R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
Alleluia PS 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel JN 20:11-18
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
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.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
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.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher.
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.'”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.
There is something stunning about Jesus’s choice of words in today’s gospel. Jesus loved his disciples as his own (John 13:1). He often called them his friends (John 15:15). He once indirectly referred to them as his kin when he explained who would make his true family (Matt 12:46-50). Yet we never find him referring to them explicitly and unambiguously as his own brothers—not until now. Look at the words he uses: “Go to my brothers and say to them: I am ascending to my Father, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God” (emphasis added). What happened?
This is what happened: God created us in His own image and likeness, but we were still creatures then. However, through the restorative act of Jesus that reached its culmination in the Paschal Mystery, we are not merely restored to the former state as the crown of creation, but are raised further to the status of the true children of God. Thanks to the death and resurrection of Christ, we are now co-heirs with Jesus: Jesus’s Father is now our Father, his God our God, and we are truly his sisters and brothers. Along with Mother Church, we shall sing: “O happy fault of Adam!”
“Do not hold on to me,” says Jesus. Do not try to posses him for ourselves alone. Let us go to our brothers and sisters and share Jesus with them as the Lord of life who raises us above ourselves by making us with him people-for-others. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!