April 6, 2021 – Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/040621.cfm)
Mary Magdalene went into the tomb and was weeping, our Gospel tells us today. Mary was filled with sadness and pain. The tomb of Jesus certainly reminded her of that painful and scandalous death of Jesus on the cross. Yet, what is interesting in this scenario was the movement of time. In the first verses of this Gospel, we were told that Mary “went to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark.” However, at this time, the dawn was breaking. The sun is soon to come out. And what Mary will witness was definitely the glorious victory of light over darkness.
Mary who developed a close relationship with Jesus, was a faithful disciple. She remained at the side of Jesus thus, the reason of her grief and pain. Nevertheless, despite the grief and sadness, Mary did not just go away and give up. She actually refused to give up. The sadness, disappointment and pain that she felt, urged her more to seek Jesus even in times of so much confusion and darkness in her life. But, those emotional and spiritual burdens in her also prevented her to immediately recognize the Lord. Jesus has to call her by name to make her realize that it was him.
Thus, in that desire to seek the Lord even in darkness and seemingly ugly scenario in her life, Mary was filled with the goodness of the Lord. Her friendship with Jesus helped her to seek the Lord and see grace beyond pain and darkness. This is something to learn from the friendship Mary Magdalene had with Jesus. Her friendship was beyond physical attraction and emotional attachment but was built on trust, faith and confidence of being loved by the Lord.
Such experience of fullness is what the Psalm also proclaimed today. “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” This is what Mary was holding on in her heart. She must be a believer on this that indeed the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Even though there was so much pain and confusion in her heart, she believed in the goodness of the Lord that fills the earth.
True enough, Mary received this fullness of God’s goodness as Jesus revealed himself to her. This was captured beautifully through her words, “I have seen the Lord.” This is a testimony of a person who believed and experienced fully the goodness of the Lord.
From here, there are two invitations for us.
First. When we also encounter moments of darkness and grief, sadness and pain, confusions and frustrations in life, we might find ourselves going away to hide, and stepping back to retreat into fear just as Mary bent over and wept at the tomb of Jesus. However, retreating into fear will only prevent us to recognize the Lord and see his grace. Hence, it is very important that we also develop a close relationship with the Lord. Such relationship will grow and mature through our constant awareness of God’s presence.
Second, that constant awareness of God’s presence calls us further to see and recognize that indeed the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Thus, never be too pessimistic even if what surrounds us is quite ugly and horrible. Since, the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, be always conscious that each of us is part of that fullness of God’s goodness on earth. Therefore, be an expression of God’s goodness to others, be the presence of God’s goodness to our friends and community. By becoming that expression of the fullness of God’s goodness, then, we shall be able to proclaim to others too that “we have seen the Lord” because we have experienced the fullness of his goodness. Hinaut pa.