The power of the resurrection
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Octave of Easter,
Gospel: John 20:11-18
Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she bent down to look inside; she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they have put him.”
As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and answered him, “Lord, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him, “Rabboni”—which means, Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me; you see I have not yet ascended to the Father. But 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.”
So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
They say that grief and resurrection aren’t compatible anymore than darkness is compatible with light. But we find grief and resurrection mixed up in the story of Mary of Magdala. She was grieving even as the resurrected Jesus was standing before her. But we understand. She already felt bad that Jesus died, and now she couldn’t even find his corpse. Tears made all events look blurred to her and she failed to understand the meaning of the empty tomb.
Like Mary of Magdala, we often focus too much on the problem, forgetting in whose presence we stand. Jesus walked over troubled waters, calmed the winds, and bridled the bit of wild waves. Is there any disastrous power within our human experience that does not bow to the power of God? We complain to high heavens saying: “Hey God I have a big problem!” But those who are empowered by the resurrection declare: “Hey problem, I have a big God, bigger than our worries, greater than our problems, better than our tomorrows, brighter than the future we work so hard for!”
The resurrection will not always banish grief. After all, the resurrection is not about grief busting but faith boosting. It is a matter of focus, and this is where Mary of Magdala failed. When we focus on the joy of the resurrection, faith is energized and grief loses the power to blur the meaning of the resurrection. In faith we believe that the resurrection that defeated a kind of death as powerful as one that silenced a Messiah for three days can lead us to triumph in all our human struggles. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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