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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Monday in the Octave of Easter
1st Reading (Acts 2:14.22-33): On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: «You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. You who are children of Israel, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.

»But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. For David says of him: ‘I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence’.

»My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear».
Responsorial Psalm: 15
R/. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the Lord, «My Lord are you». O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.

I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 117:24): Alleluia. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 28:8-15): Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples”

Fr. Joan COSTA i Bou (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the joy of the Resurrection makes the women who had gone to the tomb brave messengers of Christ. "A great joy" fills their hearts upon hearing the angel's announcement of the Master's Resurrection. They run out of the tomb to announce it to the Apostles. They cannot remain inactive, and their hearts would burst if they did not communicate this to all the disciples. Paul's words resonate in our souls: "For the love of Christ impels us” (2Cor 5:14).

Jesus "meets" them: He does so with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary - thus Christ thanks them and rewards their daring act of seeking Him early in the morning - and He does so with all men and women of the world. And even more so: He has united Himself to every man through His Incarnation, in a certain way.

The reactions of the women in the presence of the Lord express the deepest attitudes of the human being before He Who is our Creator and Redeemer: submission - "embraced his feet" (Mt 28:9) - and worship. What a great lesson to be learned before the Eucharistic Christ!

"Do not be afraid" (Mt 28:10), says Jesus to the holy women. Afraid of the Lord? Never, He is the Love of loves! Fearful of losing Him? Yes, because we know our own weaknesses. This is why we hold very strongly to His feet. Like the Apostles in the stormy sea and the disciples of Emmaus, we ask Him: Lord, do not leave us!

And the Master sends the women to tell the good news to the disciples. This is also our task and divine mission since the day of our baptism: to announce Christ throughout the world, as Saint John Paul II said, "so that each person may be able to find Christ, in order that Christ may walk with each person the path of life, with the power of the truth… contained in the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption and with the power of the love that is radiated by that truth."

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “O what wonderful good news! He who for our sake became like us in order to make us his brothers, now presents to his true Father his own humanity in order to draw all his kindred up after him.” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa)

  • “Today, more than ever before, veneration is necessary. One of the greatest perversions of our time is that we are asked to worship the human leaving aside the divine. Idols causing death do not deserve any worshipping; only the God of life deserves worship and glory.” (Francis)

  • “Mary Magdalene and the holy women (…) were the first to encounter the Risen One (Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31,42). Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ's Resurrection for the apostles themselves (Cf Lk 24:9-10). They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers, (Cf I Cor 15:5-; Lk 22:31-32) and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ (Lk 24;34).” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 641)