In today’s story from the Book of John, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb of Jesus early in the morning. In the dark, she sees that the stone has been moved away from the tomb. It’s open! She runs to get Peter and the beloved disciple (John) and tell them about what she has found. John runs faster than Peter so he gets their first. He looks in and can see the burial cloths! Peter goes in first to see that the cloths that Jesus was wrapped in for burial are there but the tomb is empty! Then John went in, saw and believed. Somehow, even after all the things that Jesus said, they didn’t understand that Jesus had risen from the dead. On Easter, we celebrate Jesus victory over death. We get to sing the Gloria and Alleluia again! We thank God for the gift he gives us. He has born our sins and purchased for us Eternal Life. We enter the season of Easter. Over the next weeks of Easter Season, we learn about the times that Jesus appeared to the disciples. He really rose from the dead! We hear about the signs and wonders of the Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles. Easter Sunday Readings for April 21, 2019 – John 20:1-9http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042119.cfm Next week, we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. See the bulletin for more details!
This journey doesn’t end well. Or does it? At Masses in the Catholic Church, we get to participate in Jesus’ life in a special way. It’s Palm Sunday! We get real palms that are blessed. We ‘welcome’ Jesus like they did on the road. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. It doesn’t take long for us to enter into the worst part of the story. We hear the words of Jesus from the cross as he prays Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Have you ever felt that way? At the worst or most painful moments, we can fear that God is not with us. Today, we participate in this drama with parts of our own: Crucify him! Pilate washes his hands of Jesus fate. We will free Barabbas instead. You see, like us, Pilate is able to decide what the truth is. He doesn’t stand for what is right. He gives in to public opinion as he sends Jesus to a horrible death. We stand by as Peter, overcome with fear, denies knowing Jesus and being his follower three times. You are not one of his disciples, are you? If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself! Jesus is crucified but only one thief asks forgiveness as he tells Jesus to remember him when he comes into his […]
If only you were here, our brother would not have died! Those words were from Martha to Jesus about her brother Lazarus. This story from the Book of John is quite famous. Martha and Mary are sisters with different ideas. When Jesus came to visit, Martha thought she was doing all the work to prepare and feed everyone. Mary was just sitting at Jesus feet! We may have a lot to do but we need to sit at the feet of Jesus, too. We continue the story today with Martha very upset about Larazus’ death. They had sent word to Jesus but he didn’t come! Jesus tells Martha that Lazarus will rise again. Martha is grieving her loss. She knows that he will rise again on the last day! Jesus tells her that he is the Resurrection and the life. She knows that! It didn’t help her loss today. She knew he was the Messiah. That’s why they sent for him. He could have cured Lazarus! Jesus saw Mary and others weeping. Jesus asks them to take him to the tomb and roll away the stone. They tell Jesus it will smell bad, as if he didn’t know! Jesus says, Did I not tell you that you would see the glory of God? Jesus prays asking the Father to help him show everyone so that they will believe. He tells Lazarus to come out of the tomb. And he did! […]
The parable of the prodigal son is not just a story of a son rejecting a father or wasting money. One son wants to decide his own life. He doesn’t want to wait for his inheritance when his father dies to be on his own. He is telling his father that he doesn’t need or want him any more. His father must have been very sad to give him money and watch him go. Maybe the son didn’t want to go into the family business and wanted his freedom. God, the Father, gives us this freedom, too. He gives us gifts and a place to live. We must choose what to do with them. Do we reject him and live the way we want and squander his gifts? The son who is loyal and stays with the father is pretty angry when his brother returns with empty pockets and asks forgiveness. We can be the unforgiving son, too, not welcoming back someone who has hurt us and not letting it go. All of us are called to be the father in this story. He is the one who is faithful, loyal and forgiving. He is even waiting in the road to welcome him back! He gives the lost son his position in the family again with shoes, the family ring and the finest robe. He throws him a party! Which character in the story are you today? What gifts will […]