Readings for Tuesday April 26, 2011
First Reading: Acts 2:36-41
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33
Gospel: John 20:11-18
Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:16-17)
In today's gospel reading, Mary Magdalene is guilty of something that we all do too often ... living in the past. Many times we live in the past when something ends or is taken away from us. In this instance, Mary was morning the loss of Jesus (and rightly so), but like all others, she did not understand that His suffering and death were necessary and all a part of God's plan. She did not understand that by His dying and rising from the dead, He would then ascend into heaven and be glorified, and once this happens He is then able to give to all those who follow Him the gift of the Holy Spirit. Not having this knowledge, however, Mary was simply holding on to Jesus as she knew Him, and did not think about the present or future.
Many times when we hold on to the past, we are unable to become the new creations that God intends us to be. The past has a way of anchoring us down and not letting us move forward, and many times we are anchored down because we are the ones holding on! Jesus calls us all to let go and to move forward with Him. One of the gifts that He gave us through the church is the sacrament of reconciliation. This sacrament helps us to confess our sins, be forgiven and to move on. I believe that this sacrament is one of the most underestimated and underutilized in the church, and if you have not been in a while, I strongly suggest that you try and make it. It is just amazing how you feel afterwards, it is like a massive weight has been lifted off of you shoulder.
Today, ask yourselves, what is it that I am still holding on to? What is keeping me from moving forward with Jesus? Remember, just let go, and let God.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you and give you praise for all that we have and all that we are. Lord, help your servants this day be faithful and full of strength and courage to go out and do your will. Lord, we praise you for all that you are and all that you give. We thank you for the promise of new life, and may we always follow you on earth until we can be with you in heaven. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.