Daily Reflection
April 25th, 2000
Gerry Stockhausen, S.J.
Economics Department
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Tuesday of Easter Week 
Acts 2:36-41
Psalms 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
John 20:11-18

What are you absolutely sure of?  

Mary, in the gospel, is overcome with grief at the loss of the one she loved.  She is absolutely sure that Jesus is dead and his body is missing.  She tries to fit every piece of new data into what she knows is true.  Since Jesus is dead maybe these dazzling creatures sitting in the tomb took him away; maybe the man who shows up outside the tomb is the gardener.  Only when she hears something else that she is absolutely certain of—the voice of Jesus speaking her name—does she re-evaluate all that she thought was true.  Old certainties fall away—certainty that the enemies of Jesus had triumphed, certainty that God had abandoned Jesus, certainty that death always has the last word.

Peter, in the first reading, shows the effects of this transforming experience of the risen Lord.  Like Mary, he is able to speak out of his newfound certainty: “Know beyond any doubt that God has made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus whom you crucified.”  Out of that certainty comes the confidence to proclaim the message of Jesus boldly, as Jesus does at the beginning of the gospels: repent and believe the good news.  Only now Peter adds a new instruction: be baptized.  Don’t stand off by yourself, but enter into the community of believers who have found life and meaning in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

These days after Easter, we are invited to simply bask in the glow of the risen Jesus—the gardener of the new creation.  Let ourselves hear Jesus speak our names.  Know for certain that death does not have the last word.  Know for certain that in all the darkest places of our lives and our world Jesus is alive.  Know for certain what the today’s psalm says: “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”

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