Scripture: John 20:11-18
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." 14 Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." 18 Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Meditation: Do you recognize the Lord's presence when you
hear his word? How easy it is to miss the Lord Jesus when our
focus is on ourselves! Mary did not at first recognize the Lord
because her focus was on the empty tomb and on her own grief. It
took only one word from the Master, when he called her by name,
for Mary to recognize him.
The Risen Lord Jesus reveals himself to us as we listen to
Mary's message to the disciples, I have seen the Lord, is the very essence of Christianity. It is not enough that a Christian know about the Lord, but that we know him personally. It is not enough to argue about him, but to meet him. In the resurrection we encounter the living Lord Jesus who loves us personally and shares his glory with us. The Lord Jesus gives us "eyes of faith" to see the truth of his resurrection and his victory over sin and death (Ephesians 1:18). And he opens our ears to recognize his voice as we listen to the "good news" proclaimed in the Gospel message today.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of our hope - the hope that we, too, who believe in him will see the living God face to face and share in his everlasting glory and joy. "Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:8-9). Do you recognize the Lord's presence with you, in his word, in the "breaking of the bread," and in his church, the body of Christ?
"Lord Jesus, may I never fail to recognize your voice nor lose sight of your presence as you open the Scriptures for me and speak your life-giving word."
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-22
4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and
all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.
21 Yes, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
A Daily Quote for Easter season: The Easter Alleluia, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"Because there are these two periods of time - the one that now
is, beset with the trials and troubles of this life, and the other
yet to come, a life of everlasting serenity and joy - we are given
two liturgical seasons, one before Easter and the other after. The
season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here
and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at
present signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future.
What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this
life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not
yet possess. This is why we keep the first season with fasting and
prayer; but now the fast is over and we devote the present season
to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing." (excerpt from commentary on Psalm 148, 1-2)
from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible,
copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of
Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches
of Christ in the United States of America. Used by
permission. All rights reserved. Citation references
for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can
be found here.
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