April 17, 2017 - The Supreme Measure of Paschal Joy
Monday in the Octave of Easter
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this 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 guards went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. They 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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection from the dead gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. I need to dwell more often on the good you have done for us and on your promises to those who put their trust in you. Thank you, Jesus, for taking up your life again and leading the way home to heaven. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. I want to cooperate more fully with you in bringing many others there with me.
Petition: Lord, as a fruit of my experiencing your love, grant me the grace of witnessing to you.
1. Coming into the Light of the Resurrection: Contemplate the women at the tomb. Feel their distress upon entering an open and empty tomb. Experience their fears for where the body might be. Share in their joy because their faith, and ours, awakens to the reality of Our Lord's resurrection. Indeed, it is true! He has truly risen! Alleluia! Approach him and bow down, then adore and embrace the loving feet of Our Lord. He wants to be our strength, our light and our love. He wants to be our Lord.
2. From Contemplatives to Missionaries: From our contemplation we must become missionaries. This is the instruction Our Lord gives these privileged women: "Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." From their adoration, Our Lord calls them to be witnesses to the world, beginning first with the apostles. These women, insignificant in the eyes of the world, have become irreplaceable heralds of the Gospel. Why? It is not because of any social class or role they had had. Rather, it is because of the faith and love with which they would live and accomplish the mission entrusted to them. They were faithful to Our Lord in spreading the Good News of the Resurrection to the apostles and the world.
3. Obedience of Faith Allows Us to See: Our Lord asks the apostles to obey his command: "Go to Galilee … there they will see me." Christ requires our obedience in order for us to see him in faith and experience his resurrection. Without obedience, we might not recognize him. The guards at the tomb were obedient to the orders of the chief priests. Yet the guards lacked faith, so they did not believe what they saw and thus did not adore. We all obey someone. However, it is obedience to Christ that leads to faith which leads to life: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life" (John 3:36).
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for this time I have spent with you in prayer and contemplation of your resurrection. Help me always to grow and mature in my faith. Without it I am lost. Without it I am unable to see you, and if I cannot see you, how will I be able to follow you? I place my trust in you and your promise of eternal life.
Resolution: I will make a special effort to speak well of others today, especially those with whom I may disagree.