Sunday, March 27, 2016

Reflections for the 1st Week of Easter, Part 1

Monday – My Portion and My Cup

The Lord is “my allotted portion and my cup.” He is my food and drink. In the Eucharist, I receive Him, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, His very Self under the appearance of bread and wine. He provides me with every spiritual nutrient that I need to survive and to grow.

He is my inheritance, the One Who gives meaning to everything in my life, the One Who stands as everything that I look forward to in eternity.

He holds me fast in His love, never letting go, always encouraging, always offering His grace, always holding out forgiveness, always drawing me back when I stray. He speaks His counsel in my ear; He whispers His secrets into my heart. He protects me from my enemies and leads me along secure paths. He fills me with confidence and joy, and I trust that one day He will bring me home to Heaven where He will be all in all.

Tuesday – Woman, Why Are You Weeping?

“Woman, why are you weeping?” The angels know something Mary Magdalene does not. Jesus is not dead. He is very much alive. They are merely examining the place where He once lay and reflecting on the wonders of God's triumph over sin and death.

Mary, however, believes that someone has taken her Lord's body and put Him somewhere else. She just wants Him back so she can anoint His body and show Him the respect He deserves. She doesn't realize that her weeping will soon turn into rejoicing.

“Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary hears these words a second time, followed by “Whom are you looking for?” She doesn't recognize the Speaker, at least not at first. She is so intent upon finding her Lord that she doesn't realize that He is standing right in front of her. “Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him,” she begs, “and I will take Him.”

Then one word changes everything. “Mary,” He says. Something leaps in Mary's heart and clicks in her mind. Now she knows. Now she sees. “Rabbouni,” she cries as she falls at Jesus' feet.

He looks at her tenderly as He tells her not to hold onto Him. Things are changing. He is going to the Father, but that does not mean He is leaving her. She will have to adjust to a new way of meeting Him, a new type of relationship, one that will be different but even more intimate.

Mary's tears dry quickly. Jesus tells her to go to the others with a message, so she obeys with joy. Her Jesus is alive. He is alive, and she has seen Him. He is alive, and she has found much more than she had ever hoped.

Wednesday – A Life Changed in an Instant

The man had never walked. Crippled since birth, he begged alms at the Temple gate each day just to get enough to eat.

On a day that began just like any other, the man noticed two men about to go through the gate and into the Temple. They looked rather poor, but there was something different about them. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but these two seemed joyful, almost like they were walking on air. He asked them for alms.

The two turned to look at him, and the man felt their gaze pierce into his depths. “Look at us,” they said. The man raised his head, hoping for a few coins. Then one of them spoke in a way he never expected: “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”

The man felt someone take his hand and begin to raise him up. He leaped to his feet. His legs grew strong and firm beneath him, and almost before he realized it, he was standing. Standing! He had never stood before. He took a couple hesitant steps and then jumped into the air. He was walking! Actually walking! Dancing even!

The two men stood back, watching and smiling. The man didn't know what to say to them, how to thank them. His life had changed in an instant. Now he wanted to know more about this Jesus Christ the Nazorean.

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