April 18, 2017
by Mike Cherney
Creighton University's Physics Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 262

Acts 2:36-41
Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22
John 20:11-18

Daily Easter Prayer

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

Today’s Gospel presents Mary Magdalene at Jesus’ tomb. Initially she does not perceive the presence of the Christ. Such encounters are not unique to her. The recognition of the risen Jesus often takes time on the part of his disciples. The passage from an early chapter of the Acts of the Apostles suggests what may be more important for meaningful engagement; we are moved less by a touching of the senses than by a touching of the heart.

So often we only see that which we are ready to see and hear that which we are ready to hear. Our mindset determines what, how and when we take in information. What I watch for television, listen to for radio programming and read in print has virtually no overlap with what my oldest sister watches, listens to and reads, while my youngest son gets almost everything from online sources. What I perceive is in many ways filtered by what I am ready to see and hear.

My work requires that I pay attention to the small and incidental things. Fortunately I work in a collaboration where others can identify the things that I have missed and I can take the necessary steps to include them. Rather than training, experience and grit, my personal motivation (growing out of what is in my heart) is likely the greatest influence on how much I am aware of things and the extent to which I am willing to take action.

I visited the Vatican for the first time last month. My initial impression was how grandiose St. Peter’s Basilica seemed. I found myself wondering if this monument was little more than papal self-aggrandizement. More than an hour into my visit and without a noticeable prompt my disposition suddenly changed. (The Lord touching my heart?) I was brought to tears. I went into a side chapel reserved for prayer (rather than tourism). I was given the gift of seeing the place from a very different perspective.

I can envisage the fire in the heart of St. Peter in the context of today’s first reading and I also imagine a “mini-Pentecost” in the Gospel description of Mary of Magdala’s experience at the tomb. I know my doubts and I fear the limitations of my faith. I am encouraged by the actions of the Spirit-filled Peter, the man who had earlier denied Jesus three times.

As today’s Psalm reminds us, the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. In this period between Easter and Pentecost I am moved to pray today for a greater openness to the Lord.

Heavenly Father,
I miss so much because of where I choose to focus.
Allow me to let down my guard to fully take in what each new context brings.
Help me to use this grace to better understand others and better understand the work of men and women as co-creation partners with You.
Grant me a heart that welcomes Your Spirit and trusts in the consequences of that acceptance.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook