Today is Easter Monday. The Easter Season is not over till Pentecost in 50 days.
This day in Catholic History:
In 456 A.D., St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop; and in 2007, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was named Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church.
Today’s reflection is the risen Jesus appearing to two women.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” – W. M. Lewis
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy (him) and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present (day). (NAB Mt 28:8-15)
Mary Magdalene and the “other” Mary arrive at Jesus’ burial tomb early on Easter Morning, and are met by an angel that tells them that He has risen from the dead. The angel tells them to go tell the other disciples.
These two women are filled with both, fear and great joy at the same time. I remember having this same type of fear and joy, five times in my life. The first was on my wedding day, to the most beautiful woman on this earth. The other four are with the birth of my four sons. In all, I was in fear of what the unknown future would have in store for all of us; and at the same time, great joy over the graces God had bestowed on me.
In a true sense these two women, who had been an active part and witness in Jesus’ entire ministry, are now the “apostles to the apostles.” They are bringing news of Jesus’ resurrection to the eleven men Jesus had entrusted with sharing the news to the world, and with managing His Church on earth.
Mary Magdalene and the “other” Mary are met on the road by the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Interesting that the first people Jesus appears to are these two women. Women did not count for anything back then. In actuality, animals were more important than women, and were of greater wealth. Jesus easily could have appeared in front of King Herod, but instead appears before the lowliest of the lowly on His return.
By falling down in His presence, and embracing Jesus’ feet, the woman’s gestures were one of worship. Also, in actually touching the risen Lord, they are physically proving the reality of His body as resurrected.
Jesus basically tells the women to perform the same mission that the angels did at the burial cave. Jesus calls his followers “brothers,” and where to meet Him, in His glorified state. These are the same people who only three days prior had abandoned Jesus when needed the most. I believe forgiveness is implied in this statement of meeting as brothers.
Administrative cover-ups and hush money is familiar to many historical periods. Bribes, lying, and alibis still exist in political circles. Good news to one group could be disastrous for another. Look at the present day world. Middle-East hates Israel, Democrats are not thrilled with Republicans, Insurance companies are directing health care, and families are even divided up on pro-life vs. pro-abortion issues. It started in the Garden of Eden, continued happening during Jesus’ time, and still continues today. I believe it is part of that “original sin” thing.
This account indicates that the dispute between Christians and Jews about the empty tomb was not whether the tomb was empty, but why. Was Jesus’ body stolen from the tomb? His disappearance from the tomb does not prove His resurrection from the dead, by itself; but along with His appearance to these two women, and later to many others, it helps prove the greatest miracle of all times: Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and our salvation from eternal death.
“Jesus, there is nothing more I can say than, ‘I love you.’ Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Vincent Ferrer
St. Vincent Ferrer is the patron saint of builders because of his fame for “building up” and strengthening the Church: through his preaching, missionary work, in his teachings, as confessor and adviser. At Valencia in Spain, this illustrious son of St. Dominic came into the world on January 23, 1357. In the year 1374, he entered the Order of St. Dominic in a monastery near his native city. Soon after his profession he was commissioned to deliver lectures on philosophy. On being sent to Barcelona, he continued his scholastic duties and at the same time devoted himself to preaching. At Lerida, the famous university city of Catalonia, he received his doctorate. After this he labored six years in Valencia, during which time he perfected himself in the Christian life. In 1390, he was obliged to accompany Cardinal Pedro de Luna to France, but he soon returned home. When, in 1394, de Luna himself had become Pope at Avignon he summoned St. Vincent and made him Master of the sacred palace. In this capacity St. Vincent made unsuccessful efforts to put an end to the great schism. He refused all ecclesiastical dignities, even the cardinal’s hat, and only craved to be appointed apostolical missionary. Now began those labors that made him the famous missionary of the fourteenth century. He evangelized nearly every province of Spain, and preached in France, Italy, Germany, Flanders, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Numerous conversions followed his preaching, which God Himself assisted by the gift of miracles. Though the Church was then divided by the great schism, the saint was honorably received in the districts subject to the two claimants to the Papacy. He was even invited to Mohammedan Granada, where he preached the gospel with much success. He lived to behold the end of the great schism and the election of Pope Martin V. Finally, crowned with labors, he died April 5, 1419. His feast day is April 5. He is the Patron of Builders.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #5:
Secular Franciscans, therefore, should seek to encounter the living and active person of Christ in their brothers and sisters, in Sacred Scripture, in the Church, and in liturgical activity. The faith of St. Francis, who often said, “I see nothing bodily of the Most High Son of God in this world except His most holy body and blood,” should be the inspiration and pattern of their Eucharistic life.