Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22 “…upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full…”
John 20: 11-18 “… ‘Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him. Jesus said to her, “Mary!”’…”
St. Crescentia Hoess, (1682-1744) Born in a town near Augsburg, her family was extremely poor. So much so the convent could not afford to take her in the first time she knocked on their door. St. Crescentia is known for her humility and kindness to everyone, especially the poor. She not only joined the order, but later became their Mother Superior. Her order began thriving after she took over, and had them focus on prayer especially in prayer in quiet. (See Saints of the day website)
I admit I had fallen away from some of my better prayer practices lately, the result of being too plugged into the world around me. And so today when I read the Gospel, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a call back to spend some quality time with the Word, and I gave myself permission to turn off the radio programs, and other news programs and just be with the Lord for the day. It was one of those gifts you could miss receiving, because the Lord’s voice is subtle and best heard when we are quiet.
The Gospel reading from John is about Mary Magdalene encountering the Lord at the Tomb after He has risen from the dead. Yes, the Easter Season is filled with good news, and this passage in particular is one of my favorites. In 1995, I was on a silent weekend retreat with Nebraska Contemplative Outreach, and we learned the practice of praying with scripture using lectio divina. It was this passage from John’s Gospel that was used by the retreat director and so reading it brought back fond memories. We were shown a monastic approach, and so the retreat director read the passage several times slowly; eventually letting one or two sentences remain with the others not being repeated. The words that remained in reading that passage are listed above, and capture the moment when Mary Magdalene realizes Jesus is risen, not taken away from the grave, but actually there in the graveyard in front of her. Her grief turns into so much joy, and you can tell Jesus is happy too, to be able to give her this gift. It is a glorious hope-filled moment. The experience of praying with scripture left a great memory, so much so that when I was asked to participate in writing a reflection during Lent in 1998, I took the plunge and said yes, and here we are today, twelve years later.
In the first reading from Acts, the difference in Peter is so noticeable; it doesn’t seem like the same person. Peter had moved along in the shadows, trying not to be noticed when Jesus was captured and dragged into the courts before being sentenced to death. And now he is speaking boldly about Jesus being “Lord and Christ” and calling people to repentance and conversion. As he is filled with the Holy Spirit he tells all of us we will be given the gift of this same Spirit too. We walk with Easter joy.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook