Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

John 20:11-18

The Appearance to Mary of Magdala


A mother was watching her only son dying in a hospital. He was a third grader and the only child. The mother was inconsolable and could not let go of her son. One night, as she was about to go to sleep, she saw standing by her bed, her son smiling and bidding her goodbye. The mother instantly stood up, went to her son and in tears whispered: “Son, you may go now. I love you.” She understood that in dying her son would be happy and free from pain.

Such was Mary Magdalene’s love for Jesus in the gospel. It urged her to follow him even to the tomb and she was distraught when she did not find his body there. She wanted to see Him once more, to touch Him, to anoint Him. She would hold on to Him.

Jesus, however, could no longer be found in the tomb, because the tomb symbolized emptiness, darkness and death. Jesus was no longer dead. He was alive! He has risen!

Once Mary turned her gaze away from the tomb, she saw Jesus and recognized Him when He called her name, “Mary!” “Rabboni!” she exclaims in joy.

Her faithful love merits for her a new role, a new mission: to immediately proclaim to others what she has seen: the Lord, risen and alive!

Do I have any God-experience that spurs me to life, to mission! How much do I allow my past to cripple my zest for living in the present? (Sr. Irmella, SSpS, Bible Diary 2002)


The Resurrection of Jesus (the fact of the empty tomb) is a fundamental dogma of the Church. St. Paul wrote in 1Cor 15:14, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain!” Remove this doctrine and all the contents of the Apostles’ Creed will fall like a house of cards!

It was the singular privilege of Mary Magdalene to be the first to see the Risen Lord. In today’s gospel narration, we find her having an enviable P.E.G. (Person al Experience of God). At first she did not recognize Him because her eyes were full of tears. Secondly, she was always staring at the ‘empty tomb’ instead of facing the ‘gardener’ whom she thought was the one who took away the Lord’s corpse! Them Jesus called her by name: “Mary!” She recognized Him: “Rabboni!” Someone called this incident as the greatest recognition scene in all literature.

Mary was sent by the Risen Lord on an errand, his first woman-missionary. She was credible because she has seen the Lord. It is not knowing about Jesus not cleverly arguing about the Risen Lord! What she experienced was: She met the Risen Lord!

You and me, by our baptism, are Jesus’ missionaries. How credible are we? Can we also say: “I have seen the Lord!” How necessary it is to have experienced the Lord in order to be His credible missionaries! (Fr. Flor Camacho, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


A man came out and drunk from a bar and was combing the area around an electric post. A curious passerby asked what he was doing. “I am looking for my key,” mumbled the man. The passerby joined the search. Another man also passed by and joined the two in turning over leaf, stones, etc. one of them asked the unsteady man: “Where did you really lose your key?” Pointing to the bar, he replied: “There!” And why on earth are we looking at here?” he shouted. “Because there is light here!” countered the drunk man.

The Ghanaian of West Africa have an idiomatic expression: “he lost his key” which means he has gone mad or something is wrong.

Many a times in life, we seem “to lose our key.” We look for what we lose or what we are missing in a wrong place like the drunk man in the story.

Understandably Mary of Magdala searched for Jesus in the tomb. Definitely she was not looking for the Risen Lord in the right place. Many people too in their search for the Risen Lord cannot find Him because they look for Him in wrong places – in alcohol, in pleasures, wealth, luxury and power. It is the Risen Lord Himself who calls them back reminding them of their mission to announce His resurrection as He did to Mary of Magdala. “Mary…go to my brothers and tell them…”the Mission to announce the Risen Lord and be witnesses of His resurrection in this generation starts with genuine repentance, forgiveness, baptism as the second reading expounds.

So, have you “lost your key?” Turn to the Risen Lord who is the key to everything, even the key to eternal life. (Fr. Joseph Panabang, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


March 29, 2016 Tuesday

In today’s gospel , we see Mary Magdalene wanting to anoint Jesus’ body but getting the shock of her life when she discovers that the body is no longer there. She gets even more shocked when she sees two angels sitting there asking why she is weeping. Then she sees a man whom she thinks as a gardener only to realize later that it was Jesus.

Sometimes, we Catholics are accused of having a very long Good Friday and a very short Easter Sunday. We tend to dwell more on the sadness of Jesus’ passion and death. You can see it in our churches. They are absolutely full during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, but during the greatest celebration of the Easter Triduum, the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, you’ll be lucky if you get the church half- filled.

As Catholics, we should realize that like Mary Magdalene, we need Jesus to jolt us out of our sadness and to start rejoicing. Easter is the greatest season in the liturgical calendar. The whole eight days from Easter Sunday to the Second Sunday of Easter is so important that any feast or memorial should give way to the Easter celebrations because we should emphasize the glorious resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And even the Easter season is longer than Lent to tell us that we should live in joy and happiness after experiencing the sorrow and sadness of meditating on our sinfulness that sent Jesus to the cross.

May the following days be celebrated with joy and happiness. May our “mea culpa” be replaced with “Alleluia, Jesus is Risen (Fr. Elmer I. Ibarra, SVD Sydney, Australia Bible Diary 2016)



My Reflection for April 22 Tuesday of the Easter Octave John 20:11-18 – Reflection: Do we always recognize the manifestation of Jesus in our lives? It maybe yes or no but certainly in so many ways Jesus always manifest Himself to us in everyday of our lives we just need to carefully discern it to feel His presence.

For example in our desire to follow Him there are times that we get lost and do things as what we want to do it. But somehow Jesus would always find a way to redirect our lives to Him. He would straighten us and make us understand that He is there to remind us that we need not loss hope for He’s there for us we only need to trust Him.

Mary of Magdala was weeping outside the tomb for she did not found Jesus. Perhaps she thought that Jesus’ body was desecrated until Jesus manifested Himself to her. Instantly her feeling of hopelessness was immediately replaced by joyfulness. And then she joyfully went to the disciples and told them that she met and had spoken with Jesus.

Jesus our Rab-bo’ni (which means Teacher) has already risen therefore He is just around watching over us. Let us always call on His name and let us always ask Him to watch over us and be with us as we continue our pilgrimage in this world.  (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



GOD IS THERE: Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. – John 20:14

How often have you found yourself in such a dire situation, to the point that your vision of the future is bleak and hopeless? To the point that you’re blinded by confusion, not knowing what to do?

I’ve been there. Several times. And like Mary Magdalene, I was so paralyzed by my own fears and doubts that I failed to see the presence of God during those dark moments. Like her, I failed to see God who was standing right in front of me, wanting to let me know that He is there for me. He’s asking me why I am so afraid and what solution I am looking for. He is asking me these questions simply because He wants me to know that He is ready to give me the answers to my questions, the solutions to my problems.

So the next time you find yourself enveloped in darkness again, remember to listen. I even dare you to ask. Because I’m sure that God is there — ready to answer. Orange V. Garcia (orange_garcia@hotmail.com)

Reflection: Remember the difficult moments in your life when you felt that it was too much to bear. Looking back, how did God respond? Always go back to God’s response when you find yourself in such moments again.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. So that I may always see You in every situation.



1ST READING: The crucified one has become both Lord and Christ – these two titles are very important. That Jesus is “Lord” is indicative of His divinity and that He is “Christ” indicates that He is the true Messiah. This is what we celebrate in the resurrection of Jesus – that He, the Son of God, died and rose for us in order to become not just our Messiah but our Redeemer as well! This is how much He loves us – He does not want to leave us to experience the fullness of death as our sins deserve. Acts 2:36-41

GOSPEL: We may well weep for the death and suffering of Jesus. However, this weeping should not be our enduring experience of Easter. Rather, it should be joy in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; joy that we are no longer captive to the powers of sin and are now free to return to God and His presence. Let us be an Easter People, rejoicing in Jesus’ resurrection by living in the fullness of grace He has won for us on the cross. John 20:11-18

think:  It is only in a right relationship with God that we will discover and experience fullness of life.



“DO NOT HOLD ON TO ME…” These words of Jesus to Mary Magdalene are, at first, shocking and, in the long run, enigmatic. Jesus, in His entire earthly ministry, went about touching people whom He in turn allowed to touch Him. Jesus touched persons with fever like Peter’s mother-in-law. He touched the blind men to restore their sight. He touched even the dead, like the daughter of Jairus and the son of the widow of Naim. Jesus Himself was touched by the crowd that gathered around and followed Him. He was touched by the children. He allowed Himself to be touched and caressed by the woman who came and poured perfume at His feet while He reclined at a meal. Even among the stories of the appearances of the Risen Jesus, the Apostle Thomas would be asked by the Lord to run his fingers into His hands and His side. We reflect on two connotations of Jesus’ statement: “Do not hold on to Me.”

* A new mode of life. Jesus probably wanted to indicate to Mary Magdalene that His new life meant a radically different form of existence, and not one which simply continues the life that He had lived on earth for 33 years. The resurrected body of Jesus is a glorified and transformed body — one that cannot be held and limited by material space and time. Jesus’ resurrected body, though truly a body and not a phantom, can go through closed doors and windows. It can appear and disappear in an instant. It is not simply a resuscitated earthly body.

* A call from discipleship to apostleship. Mary Magdalene, so much a follower of Jesus at death and beyond death, exemplified a disciple who really was after the Master. This was her way of showing her deep gratitude to Jesus, who has given her a new meaning to life (cf Luke 8:2). But with His resurrection, Jesus would like now to indicate that the time has come for the disciples not to simply cling to Him. They are now to go and scatter to different towns and cities to be witnesses and proclaimers of the Good News of Jesus. From being followers, they are now “sent.” Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How important is the language of “touch” for you? What do you associate with it? In your faith life now, are you more of a clinger or a witness? What personal challenge is being opened to you in prayer now?

Lord Jesus, help me to cling to You alone.



WITNESSING THROUGH THE EUCHARIST – The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) in May 2014 quotes Pope Francis: “Christianity is not a school of ideas or a collection of beautiful temples and lovely art; it is a living people who follow Jesus and give witness to him every day.” At Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives, the Pope is quoted in his homily by the NCR as he challenged Christians with the question, “Am I a Christian giving witness to Jesus or am I a simple numerary of this sect, unable to let the Holy Spirit drive me forward in my Christian vocation?”

As Christians, our main task is to bear witness to Christ. And we can only do this witnessing if we have actually seen our Risen Lord. The message of Mary Magdalene in today’s Gospel is the very essence of the Christian faith and proclamation. She said to Jesus’ brothers in Jerusalem, “I have seen the Lord!” It meant she has a vivid experience that Jesus is truly alive. She has related with Him. She loves Him and is willing to “take Him away” with her. She is able to bear witness to Him because she has seen her Lord.

The privilege of seeing the Risen Lord is not unique to the people of the Apostolic times. Consider the account in the The Acts of the Apostles. This book is widely accepted to have been written around 60 A.D., or almost 30 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. Notice how the author describes how they were considered as witnesses of the Resurrected Christ: “God raised Jesus on the third day and made Him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead” (Acts 10:40–41). The Eucharist, when we eat and drink with the Lord, becomes a venue for God’s revelation of Himself and so we get to see Him until now. We see Him everytime we celebrate the Eucharist. We are called to bear witness to this Lord that we constantly see and experience at Mass.

We are not mere numeraries of our faith. We are disciples of Christ, witnesses who are able to stand and testify to the truth about Jesus, our Lord.Fr. Sandy V. Enhaynes

REFLECTION QUESTION: What experience of “seeing” Christ in your life helped you to follow Him with zeal?

Dearest Jesus, help me to bear witness to Your presence in my life. Strengthen my faith in You. May the Eucharist that I receive every week be my source of strength. Amen.



Monday, March 28, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE OCTAVE OF EASTER (YEAR C) – JUAN 20:11-18. UNSA MAN KABILILHON ANG ATONG PANGALAN UG PAGKATAWO? Diha pa nailhi ni Maria Magdalina ang Nabanhaw’ng Ginoo sa dihang gitawag siya niini ginamit ang iyang ngalan nga “Maria” ug sa paagi nga puno sa respeto ug gugma. Tinuod gyod ang panultihon nga nagaingon, “Ang pinakanindot nga tingog nga atong madungog mao ang atong pangalan.” Diha sa libro ni Isaias, giingnan kita nga ang pangalan sa matag tawo nahisulat sa mga palad sa Ginoo. Ingon niana kanindot ang pag-ila sa Dios sa matag usa kanato. Giingnan sa Nabanhaw’ng Kristo si Maria nga kining Dios diin Siya mopauli mao ang atong Dios, ug ang Iyang Amahan ato usab nga Amahan. Kining kamatuoran magdasig unta kanato sa paghatag og dakong bili sa atong kaugalingon isip mga anak sa Dios. Posted by Abet Uy 




Tuesday of the Easter Week

Acts 2: 36-41; Jn 20: 11-18

My Lord

Today we have the Johannine version of the resurrection story for our reflection. Here the person in focus is Mary of Magdala, who gave up her sinful past to become the ardent follower of Jesus. She might be the one from whom the seven demons were cast out. She might be the one who was washing the feet of Jesus in her tears at the house of Simon the Pharisee. It is true that she accepted Jesus as the Master and Lord of her life and maintained a more loving and experiential level of relationship with Jesus. She followed Jesus till the foot of the cross along with Mother Mary. She saw where he was buried. She prepared the spices to cover the body of Jesus and went to the tomb again on Sunday morning when the Sabbath got over with spices and perfumes she prepared.

And what did she find there? She expected the body of Jesus, but did not find it. The immediate thought that came to her mind was that somebody has stolen her master’s body. This somebody (they) can be the soldiers who were guarding the tomb, or the enemies or the gardener even. The angels whom she met inside the tomb asked her why she was crying. Her answer gives ample evidence of her grief and longing to see her beloved. She says: They have taken my Lord away. Idon’t know where they have put him.

The Lord is now “my” lord. Also instead of the earlier narration of “we” don’t know, now she says, “I” don’t know. Jesus appears before her outside the tomb. But she does not recognize him. And Jesus calls her by name, “Mary”. The moment Jesus calls her by name she recognizes him. She turns toward him and calls him Rabboni. But Jesus says, “Don’t cling on to me” and entrusts her with the duty of instructing the disciples. Resurrection demands from us a new relation with Jesus. From the worldly and physical clinging on to the Lord for solace, our relation with the Lord must give way to a higher level.

Jesus goes beyond the expectations of those who love him in manifesting himself. Christ reveals himself to those that seek him earnestly. See how earnest was the longing of Mary of Magdala. The Master is ever ready to fulfill the desires and longings of the souls of his beloved. He will never abandon them. He reveals himself in manifold ways. Only that the disciples may not be mentally prepared for such an encounter though they wait for that moment of encounter for long. That is the irony. See how Mary could not recognize the master though he was the Lord of her heart.

Another point to be noted here is that it is high time we acknowledge the feminine qualities in our relations with the Lord. Centuries old male domination has taught us to be more logical and calculative in our approaches even in our devotions. Mary Magdalene does not do any calculation. She listens to her heart rather than to her head. This ‘heart element’ should be systematically brought in to our devotions. Such a soul will be rewarded with the ultimate pleasure of meeting the Master. Dr. Martin Mallathu CMI navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-03-29


March 29, 2016

REFLECTION: In today’s gospel reading two details cry out for comment.

First, the translation, “Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father” is about as inept as a bad translation can ever be. The Greek text has mehaptou: “do not” followed by an Imperative Present. Now in all the modes other than the Indicative, the normal tense used is the Aorist. When the Present tense is used, this suggests either intensity or duration, and so, the meaning of mehaptou is clearly: do not keep holding on to me. This is followed by a “because” (gar) having what is called among experts in Greek “a delayed effect.” The meaning of the sentence thus becomes: “Stop holding on to me. True, (you may want to do so) because I have not yet ascended to my Father (and now, therefore, is the time for intimacy). But (instead of prolonging this intimacy, I have a mission for you), go to my brothers…”

The second detail needing comment is the simple fact that, as long as Mary is addressed as “Woman,” (a generic address valid for all women at the time of Jesus), she is in the dark. But when Jesus calls her by her name, her soul is flooded with light.

Each of us is called by name, for each of us is unique in God’s eyes. Do we believe this?


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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