April 11, 2015
Saturday in the Octave of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 4:13–21
Gospel: Mk 16:9–15s
After Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and reported the news to his followers, who were now mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he lived and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he showed himself in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. These men too went back and told the others, but they did not believe them.
Later Jesus showed himself to the Eleven while they were at table. He reproached them for their unbelief and stubbornness in refusing to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Then he told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Women were not treated as equals with men in the time of Jesus. Who was this woman to whom Jesus gifted with a special appearance after he rose from the dead? She was Mary Magdalene, not just a woman but also a sinner from whom seven demons had to be cast out. Some readers identify her with the prostitute who “wasted” precious perfume on the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:36-50). But some Bible scholars believe otherwise. Mary Magdalene may not have been the worst sinner of her time. But one thing is sure: her repentance was so great that it led her to the following admirable acts of discipleship: she ministered to Jesus with other women (Mt. 27:55-56), accompanied Jesus in his last journey to Jerusalem, was present at Calvary (John 19:25) and at the entombment of Jesus (Lk. 23:50-56) and checked on Jesus in his tomb on the Sunday following his death (Mk. 16:9-15).
The story of Mary Magdalene shows us that our past sinful life does not disqualify us from God’s service. Provided that we come to the point of repentance, being a great sinner offers the advantage of acquiring deeper sense of gratitude for the forgiveness received. This was true in the case of Mary Magdalene. Aware of the great sin she was forgiven with, she became an ardent follower of Jesus. In the end she was rewarded with the singular privilege of being the first person recorded in the Bible to have met the risen Lord. And when she announced to the Apostles “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18), she became the first to proclaim the Good News of the resurrection.
To witness the actual resurrection is a gift to none of us. But to witness to the message of the resurrection is the duty of every Christian today. Like Mary Magdalene let us be zealous in proclaiming the message of Jesus’ resurrection. We proclaim that there is resurrection awaiting all of us when we handle sufferings with gratitude for the merits they impart on those who suffer with Christ. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, renew us in your grace so that we may not waste the merits of the resurrection but become zealous witnesses of that newness of life in Christ. Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr. He was born in Poland in 1030. After the death of his parents, who had consecrated him to the Lord, he gave away everything to the poor and began his theological studies. Eventually, he was ordained by Msgr. Lampert, Bishop of Krakow, whom he succeeded in 1072. Poland, at that time was ruled by King Boleslaus II, who had kidnapped a married woman to satisfy his lustful desires. After St. Stanislaus rebuked him for his adultery, the king became enraged. In front of such stubbornness, the bishop had to issue a sentence of excommunication. When the king entered the cathedral of Krakow and found that the services were at once suspended by order of the bishop, he pursued the saint to the little chapel of St. Michael outside the city and killed him while celebrating Mass.