April 24, 2011
Acts 10:34, 37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4 (or 1 Cor. 5:6-8); John 20:1-9
He is Risen! Alleluia!
Waking up on Easter morning does not automatically bring about great joy for all Christians. We recognize that the resurrection is not a magical event brought about by God at midnight on Holy Saturday, but that news of the resurrection reaches the faithful ones at different times based on where one is with one's relationship with Jesus. For some people, Lent and sorrow continues. For others, the fullness of the mystery unfolds slowly. We hear about the differing ways the disciples came to experience that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Of all the disciples, Mary of Magdala gives us the first example of struggling to understand the resurrection. She is the first to the tomb and her faith is still in darkness. She saw the stone removed from the tomb and went to tell the others that the body of Jesus was taken, presumably by "The Jews." Though only her name is mentioned, she tells the disciples "we don't know where they put him." Presumably she was not alone. Mary was one of the women standing at the foot of the cross to witness the death of Jesus. She is a witness to the facts of the story, but also an illustration of a person who is in darkness (life without faith) and comes to the light (belief in Jesus and the power of the resurrection.) She has loved Jesus well during his earthly ministry.
Themes for this Week’s Masses
Gospel: In Matthew, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary meet Jesus on the way and he exhorts them not to be afraid. The chief priests hire soldiers to say, "the disciples came and stole the body of Jesus." In John, Magdalene weeps outside the tomb and thinks Jesus is the gardener, until he speaks to her familiarly. In Luke, two disciples heading towards Emmaus meet Jesus along the way and he opens the scripture for them. As they recount their story to the Eleven, Jesus appears before them, beckons them not to be afraid, and eats with them. In John, six disciples are with Peter as they fish at the Sea of Tiberius. After a frustrating night of fishing, Jesus instructs them to cast their nets wide and they catch 153 large fish. The beloved disciple recognized the man on the beach as the Lord and they rush to meet him. In Mark, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene who told the Eleven about him. Two other disciples on the road returned to speak of their encounter, and then Jesus appears to them while they were at table.
This Week in Jesuit History
· Apr 24, 1589. At Bordeaux, the Society was ordered to leave the city. It had been falsely accused of favoring the faction which was opposed to King Henry III.
· Apr 25, 1915. Pierre Rousselot, Professor at the Institute Catholique in Paris, is wounded and taken prisoner during World War I.
· Apr 26, 1935. Lumen Vitae, center for catechetics and religious formation was founded in Brussels.
· Apr 27, 1880. On the occasion of the visit of Jules Ferry, French minister of education, to Amiens, France, shouts were raised under the Jesuit College windows: "Les Jesuites a la guillotine."
· Apr 28, 1542. St Ignatius sent Pedro Ribadeneira, aged fifteen, from Rome to Paris for his studies. Pedro had been admitted into the Society in l539 or l540.
· Apr 29, 1933. Thomas Ewing Sherman died in New Orleans. An orator on the mission band, he was the son of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. He suffered a breakdown, and wanted to leave the Society, but was refused because of his ill health. Before his death he renewed his vows in the Society.
· Apr 30, 1585. The landing at Osaka of Fr. Gaspar Coelho. At first the Emperor was favorably disposed towards Christianity. This changed later because of Christianity's attitude toward polygamy.