Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection April 02, 2024


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R/. His merciful love fills the earth. Or Alleluia !

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/.This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They 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.” Having said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for 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.” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and that he had said these things to her.

1.      Peter encounters and experiences the power of the risen Lord. As a consequence, he begins to bear witness to him. He is filled and inspired by the Holy Spirit. He begins to proclaim Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of all. People feel anguished and “cut to the heart” in response to that witness. From that deep repentance springs a sincere spirit of search and longing, asking, “What shall we do?”

2.       The consequences of this response are conversion, baptism in the Lord’s name, separation from the Gentiles, and life in contrast. The fruits and rewards for this are the forgiveness of sins and the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

3.       Mary Magdalene in the gospel stands as an example of this graced life. She loved the Lord passionately. That is why she could not bear his physical separation. So she goes to his tomb. She weeps bitterly.

4.       She could not recognise him even though he stood beside her. Perhaps, two reasons may be given why she would not recognise him: one is the changed glorified body of the risen Lord. The second is her own sorrow that veils her sight.

5.       But the Lord calls her by name. With his calling itself, he unveils her inner vision. She asks her, “Why do you weep?” Yes, there is no room for sadness in the encounter and intimacy with the Lord. Joy and peace will be abundant. From then begins her duty and mission: to share the same experience with the other disciples.

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