Gospel Reflection for April 4th Easter Sunday 2021 By Br Michael Moore OMI
Mary Magdalene meets the Risen Lord
Our journey through Lent which we began on Ash Wednesday is over. On the first Sunday of Lent we were in the dry and dangerous desert with Jesus. Today, with Mary Magdalene we stand at the empty tomb and experience the Resurrection as she did.
Good Friday is never an easy day; maybe it’s not meant to be. While it is never intended to glorify the pain and suffering of Jesus, it does ask us deeply realise and appreciate not only what happened to Jesus, but what he did for each of us. He died a very brutal death; there is no denying that; if we do, then Easter makes no sense at all. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus we see that love overcomes hatred, light overpowers darkness, hope triumphs over despair and life defeats death.
Having stood at the cross and witnessed its cruelty and pain, we now stand with Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb and experience with her all the joy and new life of the resurrection. Mary is the first of the followers of Jesus who experiences the Resurrection. She sees Jesus and he speaks to her, calling her personally and intimately by her name. She is called for a very specific purpose. Jesus looks at her and says, ‘go and tell the others that I have risen.’ This great woman is the first to experience the Resurrection and the first to proclaim the good news about it. Mary is the first missionary disciple of the Resurrection. Having being faithful to Jesus and stayed and the cross, she now stands with him after the Resurrection. This both encourages and challenges us.
Today we are called not just admire Mary Magdalene, but to follow her radical example. Now more than ever, each of us is called to be a missionary disciple. Pope Francis reminds us of this when he says, ‘…all members of the People of God have become missionary disciples… we no longer call ourselves we are ‘disciples’ or ‘missionaries’, but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples.’ (The Joy of the Gospel 120). Pope Francis says, ‘By calling Mary Magdalene by her name after his resurrection, Jesus shows us just how personal his relationship with each of us is; adding, that after this intimate encounter, Mary then becomes an apostle of hope for the world, announcing the Lord’s rising. How beautiful to think that the first appearance of the Risen One took place in such a personal way! That there is someone who knows us, who sees our suffering, pain and loss, who is moved by us, and who calls us by name,” he says.
Mary followed Jesus and stood by him when he was betrayed, condemned and crucified. She saw him die and being buried. Having shared in his suffering, she now experiences all the power and new life of his resurrection. Many of us are still struggling and suffering because of Covid 19 in so many ways. We are not on our own these days, especially on this Easter Sunday. Mary Magdalene who herself struggled and suffered stands with us in whatever pain and suffering we are experiencing. She is with us this Easter Day and proclaims with courage and conviction, ‘do not be afraid, he is risen!’
Having taken up our cross and followed Jesus through Lent and experienced his passion and suffering on Good Friday, we now stand with Mary and experience the same power and new life of Jesus’ resurrection. This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.
– Br Michael Moore OMI
|Gospel Easter Sunday April 4th||John 20:1-9 ©|
He must rise from the dead
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