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Monday, April 5, 2021

Reflection 2021-04-6 Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Acts 2:36-41; Psalm 33; John 20:11-18
The Gospel is another account of the resurrection, this time with more details about Mary Magdalene. She was weeping outside and Jesus appeared to her. At first, she did not recognize Jesus but she finally knew it was Jesus when he called her by name. This reminds us of what Jesus said: the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out. In this case, Jesus called Mary by name and leads her out of her grief. Many look for ways to address their grief. Many seek for things to answer their needs. But the only One who can do this is Jesus Christ, whom according to Peter in the First Reading God has made him both Lord and Messiah.
What does it mean that Jesus is Lord and Messiah? Peter tells us: repent and be baptized … in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter tells us the kind of Messiah Jesus is. He is not the political Messiah who will rule with earthly authority. But he is Lord and Messiah who forgives sins. The kingdom of God Jesus established transcends the physical. It is not concerned about defeating Rome as its enemy by military might, but it is concerned about defeating sin and death by obedience to God. This is possible only when people hear the Gospel of Jesus, just as Jesus commanded Mary Magdalene, to go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. This good news means Jesus has reconciled us with God and we can now call ourselves children of God, brothers of Jesus.
Being a child of God is an invitation. There are expectations to being a child of God. For one, there has to be repentance. Repentance goes beyond being sorry for our sins. It is a complete turnaround of our attitude towards Jesus. It requires changing our perspective of him, just as Mary Magdalene had to change her perspective of Jesus as Teacher. If Jesus is a mere teacher, we do not need to obey him. But Jesus is more than that: he is Lord and Messiah, so we need to believe him, trust him and show this trust in obedience to him.
Christ is risen! He is revealed to be more than a good man, more than a teacher. God has made him Lord and Messiah. He is the only One who can save us. He is the only One who will lead us out of our grief, our addictions, our financial problems, our sickness. He will not take them away, but he will lead us through them towards victory.
Lord, help me to accept you as my Lord and Messiah. Lead me to obey you.

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