Catholic homily for Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
Theme: EASTER’S FIRST WITNESS WAS A WOMAN….. “Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’”
By: Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
Homily for Tuesday April 16 2021
Today, in the figure of Mary Magdalene, we can contemplate two levels of acceptance of our Savior: the first is imperfect, the second, is complete, unconditional. From the beginning, Mary appears to us as a most sincere disciple of Jesus. She follows him, the incomparable Teacher; she is heroically adherent to him who was crucified for love; she looks for him, beyond death, his burial and disappearance. How impregnated with admirable dedication to their “Lord” are the two exclamations that the Evangelist St John has preserved for us, like incomparable jewels: “They have taken the body of my Lord, and I do not know where they have put him” (Jn 20:13); «Sir, if you have taken Him, tell me where you have put it, and I will take it»! (Jn 20:15). Few disciples have contemplated history, so affectionately and loyally as Mary of Magdala.
However, the good news of today, this Tuesday of the Eighth Week of Easter, infinitely surpass all ethical goodness and religious faith in a Jesus who one can admire, but who is ultimately dead; and they take us to the realm of faith in the Risen One. Jesus who, at first, leaving her on the level of imperfect faith, addresses the Magdalene asking her: “Woman, why are you crying?” (Jn 20:15) and to which she, with shortsightedness responds as one would to a gardener who is interested in her distress. Jesus, now, in a second definitive moment, challenges her with her name: “Mary!” and he shock her to the core speaking to her about resurrection and life, that is, of Himself, as the Risen One, living forever. The result? Mary Magdalene the believer and Mary Magdalene the apostle: “It was Mary Magdalene and she told her disciples that she had seen the Lord” (Jn 20:18).
Today is not uncommon for Christians who do not see clearly beyond this life and, therefore, who doubt the resurrection of Jesus. Am I among them? Similarly, there are many Christians who have enough faith to follow him privately, but who fear to proclaim him apostolically. Am I part of that group? If this were the case, like Mary Magdalene, let us say to him: “Master! Let us embrace ourselves at his feet and go to meet our brethren and say:” The Lord has risen and I have seen him!
Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
(Vic, Barcelona, Spain)