Wednesday, April 23, 2014
April 22, 2014 Acts 2: 36-41; Ps 33; Jn 20: 11-18
Dear brothers as we have began to celebrate Easter, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus from death; today the gospel presents us the first account of witnesses to this extraordinary phenomenon that Jesus is alive, that death has no power over Christ. And finally we hear this Good News is been preached for the first time by Mary Magdalene, “I have seen the Lord”.
In the different accounts of resurrection in St. John’s gospel, we see a gradual progress of faith; a journey of faith in the resurrected Christ, which is different for each persons. John’s account of Resurrection begins with Mary Magdalene going to the tomb early in the morning and found the empty tomb and she thought someone has taken the body of Jesus away. She went and reported this to the disciples. Then Peter and the other disciples went to the tomb. Peter went in and so the linen. The other disciples also went in, and he saw and believed, yet St. John the evangelist says that they did not know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their home. This is followed by the account that we heard today; Mary Magdalene comes back again to the tomb and finds the angels and then she saw Jesus himself standing, but she did not recognize him. Then Jesus asks her, “Whom do you seek? This question is interesting that this is the same question that he asked when two disciples of John the Baptist went to see Jesus as Jesus was beginning his ministry and they gradually believed Jesus as the true light, the son of God, the Messiah.
Mary Magdalene, still not knowing that Jesus is speaking to her, asks him whether he has taken the body of Jesus. It was only when Jesus calls her by name, “Mary”, here eyes of faith is opened and she recognizes him as her teacher and master. Fr. Raymond Brown, a renowned theologian, comments that this exchange proves what Jesus had said earlier about himself as Good Shepherd. Jesus the Good Shepherd will call his sheep by name and they will know him.
Mary’s process of coming to the faith depended upon her personal relationship with the Lord, a personal encounter with Jesus and also her understanding that he knows her and calls her by name. As we find ourselves in this Easter stories, let us look our journey of faith. What is my personal relationship with Jesus? We have known Jesus. We have studied about him. We have argued about him. We have preached about him. But this is not enough. It is important that we recognize him. We should hear him calling our name, each one of us; jinu...joseph...maria...sonia...kelly...etc...
In the Resurrection we encounter the living Lord who loves us personally and shares with us his glory. He gives us “eyes of faith” to recognize him, to see the truth of his resurrection, the victory over sin and death. Let this Easter bring us the grace of being known by the risen Christ, the grace of belief, the grace of being called by our name and we may show by our lives that the Lord has truly risen. And we may proclaim like Mary Magdalene: “I have seen the Lord”… Alleluia… Alleluia....
Bro. Jinu Muthukattil S.M.
Monday, April 21, 2014
|Easter Sunday - Why Easter Matters|
Easter is significant because it reveals that love is more powerful than death. Death is what frightens us most. It hems us in and it sets the ultimate limit to everything. If death has the final word, then all the evil in the world wins and there's no hope because there's nothing after death. That's the end.
But Easter is the declaration that God's love, the love that made the world and sustains it, is more powerful than death. That's a moment of liberation. It means death no longer enslaves us. The first Christians saw that the bursting forth of Christ from the tomb is the shattering of death's bonds.
Even more, the Resurrection is God's great salvation of the world he has made. The God of the Bible doesn't despise matter--just the opposite. God makes everything good. And through the Resurrection, God ratifies, sums up, and valorizes his material creation. Therefore, Jesus' resurrection from the dead is not just about him. It's about all those who will participate in his Mystical Body, the Church, and it's about all of matter. In raising Jesus bodily from the dead, the Father is raising all of matter to new life.
We see this as the Bible comes to its climax in the Book of Revelation. There we discover a New Heaven and a New Earth. Heaven is not just some purely spiritual space that our souls go to after we die. It's a new creation, God ratifying and elevating his whole work. That's the climax of the biblical revelation.
The God who made the world good has now, out of a passion to set it right, saved that world by raising it up to a higher pitch.
The Christian Church gives witness to that great fact. And that's what Easter is about.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
|Holy- Jesus Descends Into Hell|
Friday, April 18, 2014
|Good- Why Focus on the Cross?|
Thursday, April 17, 2014
|Holy- The Initiation|
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
|Lent Day 43 - The Path of Dispossession|
They are some of the harshest, most shocking words that Jesus speaks in the Gospels: "Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."
Why do these words sound so counter-intuitive? Because ever since we were children, the culture has drilled the reverse into us. You're not happy because you don't have all the things you want to have. You will be happy only when you have so much money, or so big a house, or so much respect. You might not be happy now, but some day you might be if you acquire the right things.
And what follows from this? Life becomes a constant quest to get, to attain possessions. Remember the foolish rich man from Jesus' parable, the one who filled his barns with all his possessions. Because he had no more room, he decided to tear his barns down and build bigger ones. Jesus calls him a fool because--and I want you to repeat this to yourself as you read it--you have everything you need right now, right in front of you, to be happy.
I know it's completely counter-intuitive. We say, "No, that's not right at all; I'm very unhappy, but I'm trying to become happy, and I know I will be a lot happier when I get (fill in the blank)." But I want you to repeat this in your mind: "If I say, 'I'll be happy when,' I won't be happy when."
What makes us truly happy? Forgetting our ego and its needs and desires, opening our eyes, minds, and hearts, and letting reality in. What makes us happy is always right in front of us, because what makes us happy is love, willing the good of the other.
Next time you're unhappy, here's what you do: you love. When you're feeling miserable, write a note to someone who is lonely; make cookies for your kids; visit the nursing home; donate some money to a charity; sign up to help with an after-school program; say a prayer for someone who's in trouble.
Love is not a feeling. It's an act of the will, and it's a great act of dispossession. This is the wonderfully liberating path of holiness that Jesus wants us to walk. He wants joy for us. But the path to joy is the path of detaching ourselves from getting and acquiring.
Fr. Robert Barron
|Lent Day 42 - Flowers in the Desert|