Monday Octave of Easter 2012 Mass Reflections

Scripture Readings for Today's Mass are here

                   Jesus meets Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome
                                                             Chartres Cathedral Window

Gospel Mt 28:8-15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.

Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me."

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city

and told the chief priests all that had happened.

The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, "You are to say,
'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.'

And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."

The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.


Here is a comprehensive list and scriptural description of Post - Resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ.

Nice reflection here 

and maybe the candidate for the shortest Easter sermon from Francis DeBernardo,

“If today anyone asks you for proof of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, you’re it."

So we have an awful lot still to do !

 This is my post from last year related to yesterday's Gospel of Mark.

Holy Week and Women

Women appear everywhere in the Gospel accounts of Holy Week and as many of them are named Mary it gets a tad confusing at times. It reminds me at times of the nursery rhyme:
Mary, Mary quite contrary- where does your garden grow ?
With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row. 

The authors of the Gospels accounts of the Resurrection stories although differing in detail, all mention Mary Magdalene as being among the first witnesses of the Resurrection.

Gospel writers name or describe about 10 or 12 women in their writings between Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, and his Resurrection — Bible researchers do not always agree who was who when reconciling the different lists of women followers.

 Views of the Resurrection

So, what does the resurrection of Jesus mean for Christians today? In his new book, Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson writes:

The resurrection of Jesus establishes the conditions in which we live and mature in the Christian life and carry on this conversation: Jesus alive and present. 

A lively sense of Jesus’ resurrection, which took place without any help or comment from us, keeps us from attempting to take charge of our own development and growth.

 Frequent meditation on Jesus’ resurrection — the huge mystery of it, the unprecedented energies flowing from it—prevents us from reducing the language of our conversation to what we can define or control. 

“Practice resurrection,” a phrase I got from Wendell Berry, strikes just the right note. We live our lives in the practice of what we do not originate and cannot anticipate. 

When we practice resurrection, we continuously enter into what is more than we are.

 When we practice resurrection, we keep company with Jesus, alive and present, who knows where we are going better than we do, which is always “from glory unto glory."

 Peterson tells this wonderful story of how some of the seeds for his book grew out of a meeting with friends who wrote. One of them was the poet, Robert Siegel, who lived in New Hampshire.

One day as Siegel was out driving with his wife Anne, Siegel said he saw the sign for the turnoff to the high point called Mount Monadnock , a large rocky slope that most people living in New Hampshire never manage to climb, even though they drive past it every day.and on impulse he said to his wife, “Isn’t it about time we saw this famous mountain for ourselves?” The experience led him to write a poem:

                                                                     Mount Monadnock Image source

We see the sign, “Monadnock State Park”
as it flashes by, after a mile or two

decide to go back, “We can’t pass by Mondnock
without seeing it,” I say, turning around.

We head down the side road – “Monadnock Realty,”

“Monadnock Pottery,” “Monadnock Designs,”

but no Monadnock. Then the signs fall away –
nothing but trees and the darkening afternoon.

We don’t speak, pass a clearing, and you say,
“I think I saw it, or part of it – a bald rock?”

Miles and miles more. Finally, I pull over
and we consult a map. “Monadnock’s right there.”

“Or just back a bit there.” “But we should see it –
we’re practically on top of it.” And driving back

we look – trees, a flash of clearing, purple rock-
but we are, it seems, too close to see it:

It is here. We are on it. It is under us.

 Peterson writes :

"This practice -resurrection life, this growing -up -in- Christ life, this Christian life that some people talk about and many others hear about is a Mt. Monadnack kind of life.

We read the words, we see the signs. We hear the talk, we read the poems, sing the hymns, pray the prayers.......  we decide to take it seriously and see for ourselves first hand.

We see the words Christian, Resurrection, Saints all over the place. We travel to Holy Places. We look through churches. 

But we never see what we expected to see. 
We never see the mountain.

 We read all the extravagant words, the rocket verbs, the gift nouns, the all encompassing strategies, the grand purposes that are associated with this mountain.

But we never SEE the mountain.

                                      Why do we not see God when He is right here?  

Peterson goes on to explain that when Jesus was alive there were very few of his followers who really understood him when he was alive, so it is no surprise that after his resurrection they still failed to get it even when he appeared to them.

So if the disciples missed the reality of Christ that surrounded them because they were simply too close to it, maybe it's hardly a surprise when I fail to notice the presence of Christ in my life too.

One of my favourite stories from the Bible is the disciples on the road to Emmaus after the Resurrection who walked several miles without recognising Jesus.

 Even though he explained all the scriptures to them it was not until their eyes were opened by the simple act of breaking the bread that they recognised him as Christ.

Simple acts infused with love can unexpectedly reveal the presence of God.

Christ may seem ever distant but is always near- even when all the Easter eggs are gone.

The belief in the Resurrection roots the miraculous in the reality of the everyday. 

Christ is Alive and present.

Fresh hope, fresh life. Love wins!! 

                                                                     The garden tomb

Isaiah said On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all
peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.

and he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.

Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.

 It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.

This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

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