April 2, 2013

The Gospel Today

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Jn. 20: 11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.

Reflection (Sem. Ramon Jamora Jr.)

The gospel presents one of the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. Our catechism teaches us that the resurrection of Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises of both the Old Testament and of Jesus Himself during His earthly life (CCC 652). The truth of Jesus’ divinity is confirmed by His resurrection (CCC653). The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by His death, Jesus liberates us from sin; by His Resurrection, He opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, “so that as Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (CCC654).

Perhaps Jesus’ death was one of the saddest moments in the life of Mary, the apostles and His followers. I believe all of us can easily relate to the feeling of losing someone in the family or a close friend. No one is excused from this loneliness but for sure all would want to be excused from it. Jesus’ loved ones did not expect that He would be raised back to life. All they knew was that Jesus is dead.

Jesus’ appearance to Mary of Magdala was a sign of hope. It was a crucial event in the lives of Jesus’ followers. But Jesus’ resurrection did not end in Him. I believe because He was raised from death, we now share His resurrection in the daily miracles that we experience through the healing and recovery of our sick and dying brothers and sisters.

I have heard a lot of miraculous healings and second chances. I have also witnessed this foretaste of our resurrection. In one of our hospital apostolate sessions, a patient was diagnosed to have brain infection. The doctors were certain that he would not make it and the chances of survival were too slim. The medical team prepared the family for the worst case. They couldn’t do anything but to tell the family to pray and that only miracle can save the boy. The aunt was so desperate and went to the chapel to pray and she asked us to pray for the boy. We went to the room and prayed over him hoping that God will heal him. The family initiated a text brigade to pray for the boy.

A week after we went back to the hospital for another weekend apostolate. During the day, we were informed that the boy was already awake and could communicate well. We rushed to his room to visit him and his family. I was in awe to see the boy alive and well. I was having goose bumps seeing that he was healed through prayers. I say that it was a miracle, a foretaste of our resurrection.

It was a clear message from God that nothing is impossible with Him. God is surely alive today. God, through His Son Jesus, is alive. Perhaps we are all invited to become a modern day Mary, a witness to God’s resurrection in our lives. Let us spread the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection through the little miracles we experience. Let us continue to hope that one day we will all be with Him. That in His time, we will witness the resurrection of the dead and spend everlasting life in His kingdom to come.

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