TUESDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER
Acts 2: 36-41
"Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-20, 22
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
John 20: 11-18
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
The Easter season is one of joy and celebration in our Church. After doing penance for forty days beforehand, we spend the next fifty commemorating Jesus’ victory over death. We reread the story of His Resurrection and how He showed Himself to His followers. We also see the apostles go forward in the power of the Holy Spirit to tell the good news of what happened and establish the Church. It is a time to reflect on and rejoice in the marvels the Lord has worked.
Amid the joy, though, we also see a great deal of angst in our readings today. The people who heard Peter’s words were “cut to the heart,” devastated to learn that the Messiah had indeed come but had been put to death. And the Gospel begins with Mary Magdalene weeping. Her heart had been broken to see Jesus die, and, then it looked like His body had been stolen and desecrated further. By all appearances, a terrible situation had just been made worse. But then Jesus appeared.
Easter Sunday reminds us that Jesus always has the last word. In the face of darkness, grief, and even death, He has promised new life and victory for all of us who belong to Him. Because of this, we have cause for hope no matter what we may go through in this life.
As you meditate on these readings today, thank the Lord for the gift of His Resurrection. If you have been suffering any trials in this Easter season, ask for the grace to seek and find the Risen Lord through the tears, so you may rejoice as Mary did. St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!