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Posts Tagged ‘Mark 16’


magdalene at the tomb

Rembrandt van Rijn: Christ and Saint Mary Magdalene at the Tomb

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Presence

John records how Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body but us startled to find an empty tomb. Believing that the body has been stolen, she leaves quickly to alert Peter and John. When the apostles arrive, they find the funeral cloths that had wrapped Jesus’ body the previous evening but still they do not believe in the resurrection. They return home puzzled but Mary remains, weeping.

We are equally surprised by life and its turnings, just as Mary is surprised. We also grapple with the reality before us and struggle to understand the mystery that surrounds us. We also give in to our grief and miss the gift of God’s constant presence.

Two angels ask Mary why she cries, and she answers, describing her grief. Christ then appears and Mary mistakes him for the gardener until he speaks her name. He reminds her that he is going to the Father and he asks that she deliver this good news to the disciples. (John 20)

We are equally overcome by grief and frustration, just as Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb. We also mistake the open door and the emptiness for nothingness. We overlook the risen Christ and instead we see an ordinary figure in our ordinary lives.

If we spend time today with this and the other three resurrection stories (Matthew 26, Mark 16 and Luke 24) we can compare our own Easter experience to the one recorded for us. Let us consider the gift of our own resurrection. Let us give thanks for our extraordinary lives that we live in our ordinary way. And let us give thanks for the gift of God’s eternal presence.


Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_20:14

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empty tombWednesday, April 28, 2021

In the Gospel of Matthew, we read the description of an angel descending with the rumble of an earthquake as Mary Magdalene “and the other Mary” approach the tomb. The women are frightened and the guards “were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men”.

The angel utters the amazing words: Do not be afraid. He is not here. He is risen and gone to Galilee before you.

The women quickly leave the tomb and encounter the risen Christ on their way to deliver the surprising, but wonderful news to the other disciples. The words of peace are repeated: Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. The guards accept a bribe and circulate the story of how Jesus’ followers stole the prophet’s body. (Matthew 28)

If we spend time today with this and the other three resurrection stories (Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20) we can compare our own Easter experience to the one recorded for us. As we reflect, let us consider: How do we approach the tomb we believe to be empty? Who greets us? How do we react to these words?  How do we share this story of good news with others?

Tomorrow, the story as told by Mark.


Image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nZuhnTzJrE

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Mark 1The Mystery of Jesus

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

We visited this portion of Mark’s Gospel a few years ago when we reflected on the divergent images of fire and water – the fire of the Spirit within and the cleanness of the water that purifies.  Jesus is both human and divine; he is a vessel that holds – what seems to be – two contrary natures.  Jesus comes to tell us that we too, as his adopted sisters and brothers, have this potential to hold two opposing forces.  He comes to tells us that the impossible is possible when we live in him.  He comes to tell us that the Mystery of Christ is also the Mystery of our own origin.

Mark writes his Gospel with amazing clarity and precision.  We see a lightning view of Jesus’ meteoric rise and then what appears to be a fading into darkness . . . but we know better.  When circumstances are darkest, hope is strongest.  When the light seems the most dim . . . clarity arrives within.  This is the Mystery we understand from our brother Jesus.

Mark’s original story ends at 16:8: Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment.  They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.  Sometime later the final stories of the Resurrection and Ascension were added.  Some believe that the final portion of the original was lost (Senior 94).  There is speculation about who added which ending and when – but there is no doubt about the veracity of the story.  The fervor here cannot be denied.  Just as Jesus cannot be denied, despite all of our efforts to put ourselves first and Christ last.

We are human.  We are divine.  When it is dark, it is bright.  Where there is fire, it does not consume but feeds us.  Where there is water, it purifies and cleanses rather than drowns.  We need not fuss and fidget with the details of this story.  We do not need to look for inconsistencies or to point at events we think cannot have taken place.  All we need do is trust and believe.  All we need do is relax into the mystery . . . and enjoy its wonder and beauty.


A re-post from February 19, 2012.

Image from: https://hdqwalls.com/fire-water-heart-art-wallpaper 

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.94. Print.   

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The Gospels: WaitingGood-Friday

Good Friday, March 25, 2016

We live in a culture of immediacy; we have created a society that dispels mystery. We insist on knowing our unborn child’s gender; paparazzi tell us the daily intimate details of the lives of the famous. We insist on quick marts, fast food, instant dinners and bread-making machines. We look for comfort, create short cuts through pain, and seek antidotes to suffering.

We fail to teach our children how to suffer well. We shy away from abiding with family and friends who wait for Christ’s infinite, overpowering love to heal and transform. We have failed to learn the lesson of waiting.

This Good Friday, as we mourn what we first believe to be the loss of truth in the face of corruption, let us remain and abide with Mary the Mother of Jesus and John the Beloved Apostle at the foot of the cross. Let us await the promise of light that we know is arriving to pierce the darkness. Let us rest in the peace and joy of the resurrection story.

tomb linens (2)Matthew 28

Mark 16

Luke 24

John 20

Using the scripture links and drop-down menus, spend time with God’s word. Then watch or listen to Matt Maher’s video presentation on the gift of waiting at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnp60uQ3EAw

 

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