3 Apr – Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
On the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke to the Jews: ‘The whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.’
Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the apostles, ‘What must we do, brothers?’ ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God will call to himself.’ He spoke to them for a long time using many arguments, and he urged them, ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation.’ They were convinced by his arguments, and they accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.
Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognise him. Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’
Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.
…why are you weeping?
Most of the time, we express our sadness through crying. Sometimes, we cry for a short time. Sometimes, we cry for a long time. Sometimes, we cry ourselves to sleep at night. Isn’t it that when there are tears in our eyes, our vision is blurred? We cannot see clearly what is in front of us.
In the Gospel, Mary Magdalene was weeping because she thought that Jesus’ body was taken away. We cry when our loved ones leave us. How much more if we found out that we could no longer visit the remains of our departed loved ones?
Mary felt such a deep grief in her heart that she cried sorrowfully. When Mary was first asked, “Why are you weeping?”, I felt like asking if she realised that those who asked her were angels? She may have been emotionally unstable at the time and therefore, could not clearly think nor see her surroundings.
When it was Jesus who asked, “Woman, why are you weeping?”, Mary was not able to recognize Him at once. Mary was weeping and looking for the dead body of Jesus when she should have been looking for the risen, living Jesus Christ. But eventually, Mary realised that it was Him.
God moves in mysterious ways. Humans tend to focus on things that are too far past or too far in the future. When we look back or look forward too much, sometimes we cannot see the ‘now’ too clearly. We must not cling too much to our past nor forecast our future. Let our past be our reminder of how we can be better for today. If we are better today, then we do not have to worry too much for our future. There may be times when we feel really devastated and angry at God. But we must only cling to Him — He is the only one who can see our future and direct us on how to live it.
We must not forget that crying is not only for sadness. There are also tears of joy. We cannot contain the overflowing joy that makes us release tears. We are still in Easter time. This is a great reminder that we can still find gladness in whatever painful situations we are in. God is truly merciful and He would not give us challenges that we cannot handle. We just have to pray and listen to Him so we will be enlightened on what to do.
(Today’s Oxygen by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Father God, we are truly sorry for all our shortcomings. Please pour out Your Holy Spirit to guide us and heal our broken heart. Please grant us the grace of happiness to whatever situations we find ourselves in.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for Your unconditional love. Thank you for helping us, especially in times of great need.