Easter Sunday (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

Author: José Antonio Pagola · Translator: Rosalino Reyes Dizon. .
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Encountering the Risen One

According to John’s account, Mary of Magdala is the first to go to the tomb, while still dark, and she sadly finds out that it is empty.  She needs Jesus.  He is the Teacher who has understood and cured her.  He is the Prophet that she has followed till the end.  Whom is she going to follow now?  Thus she laments before the disciples: “They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they put him.”

These words of Mary could express the experience that not a few Christians live today.  What have we done to the Risen Jesus?  Who has taken him away?  Where have we put him?  The Lord that we believe in, is he a Christ who is full of life or a Christ whose memory is being extinguished little by little in our hearts?

It is a mistake to look for “proofs” in order to believe more firmly.  Appealing to the magisterium of the Church is not enough.  It is useless to inquire into the expositions of the theologians.  So that we may encounter Jesus, we have, first of all, to make the rounds of our insides.  If we do not find him within us, we are not going to find him anywhere.

A bit later, John describes Mary as running from one place to another, looking for information.  And when, blinded by pain and tears, she sees Jesus, she does not get to recognize him.  She thinks it is the gardener.  Jesus only makes one question:  “Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you looking for?”

Perhaps we also have to ask ourselves something similar.  Why is our faith sometimes so sad?  What ultimately is the cause of this lack of joy among us?  What do we Christians today look for?  What do we long for?  Do we go around looking for a Jesus whom we need to feel to be full of life in our communities?

According to the account, Jesus is talking to Mary, but she does not know it is Jesus.  It is then that Jesus calls her by her name, with the same tenderness he put in his voice when they were walking through Galilee, “Mary.”  She quickly turns around:  “Rabbouni, Teacher.”

Mary encounters Jesus when she feels personally called by him.  That is how it is.  Jesus shows himself to us full  of life when we feel called by our proper names, and when we listen to the invitation that he extends to each one of us.  It is then that our faith grows.

We will not rekindle our faith in the risen Christ by feeding it only from the outside.  We will not encounter him if we do not seek a live contact with his person.  It is probably the love for Jesus, known through the gospels and sought personally in the depths of our hearts, that can best lead us to the encounter with the Risen One.

José Antonio Pagola

March 31, 2013
Easter Sunday (C)
John 20:1-9

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