Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone of my readers enjoyed a Happy Easter! In the Catholic Church we celebrate the Easter liturgy for a full week, and then for 50 days! This year Eastertide or the Easter Season which lasts until the Feast of Pentecost will last all through the month of June. After the 40 days of Lent, Easter brings joy and hope. The gospel for Easter was taken from Chapter 28 of Matthew's gospel. He tells us of Mary Magdalene who was determined to give Jesus a fitting burial. Since Jesus had died on Friday, no work could be done on the Sabbath, Saturday. Early on that Sunday morning Mary arrived at the tomb dismayed that
there was no body to be found. She and the other Mary's who had carried spies to complete the embalming process found an angel seated in the tomb. He told them that Jesus was no longer there, he had risen. Where was he? As the gospel continues, Jesus called "Mary." Instantly she responded "Rabboni", Master. As one author recently pointed out, Jesus had said, "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and I call them by name." Mary's heart must have leapt when she heard, "Mary." Mary had followed Jesus to the cross, and with his Mother Mary, she stayed to the end to witness his sacrifice for all of us. Tradition calls Mary "The Apostle to the Apostles." Jesus told her to "Go, tell my brethren" the Good News. Mary did that to the best of her ability. She evangelized the Evangelizers. Certain icons of the Magdalene show her holding an egg. Apparently Mary evangelized in Rome too. One legend says that Mary traveled there and spoke with the Emperor. When she told the Emperor of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the Roman leader scoffed at her and said, "No more can a man rise from the dead than that egg in your hand turn scarlet!" He no sooner finished speaking than the egg turned a bright scarlet color.
We do not need to see miracles like the Emperor saw because we witness a miracle every time we attend Mass. There are two times when a Catholic priest speaks in the place of Christ: one is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance/Confession, when he says: "I absolve you from your sins...". The other instance when the priest speaks for Christ directly is when he says at the consecration in each Mass, "This is my Body given up for you....This is my blood shed for you and for many." The Risen Christ, who suffered crucifixion and died for us, offers himself to us each day in every Mass. He chose to remain with us in Communion and in the Blessed Sacrament.
May the Risen Christ be your hope and your joy, your Source of happiness and serenity. May Easter Peace permeate your life!