April 23, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are about appearances and recognitions.
We pray this morning with the pioneers of our Christian Faith: Mary Magdalen, Peter, John, and all the Eleven. The scriptures tell us the story of their post-Resurrection discipleship – a time of joyous, dynamic commitment to build the faith community, to share the wonder of the eternally living Jesus with all people.
These first Easter Christians were shining with faith…. so much so that it could be said:
Observing the boldness of Peter and John
and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,
the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed,
and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.
Our Gospel summarizes the fact that, for a brief time, the Risen Jesus remained with these disciples to shore up their confidence and commitment. In this passage, He appeared first to beloved Mary Magdalen, then to the unnamed two who journeyed a country road, and finally to the Eleven gathered at dinner.
He had different messages at each appearance:
- the intimate commission of Mary to be his first announcer
- the companionable accompaniment of the two distraught disciples from Emmaus
- the scolding of the “hard-hearted” Eleven with the uncompromising charge
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel
to every creature.”
Dear Friends, that charge is meant for each of us as well. For our times, we are the ones commissioned to proclaim that Christ is risen, that the Good News of God’s love is alive in us!
Our prayer today may lead us to consider:
- Would we, like Mary, recognize the voice of Jesus calling us to deeper discipleship?
- Would we, like the Emmaus travelers, listen beyond our fears to hear the Truth of Jesus in our circumstances?
- Would we, like the hesitant Eleven, rebound through our failures to a stronger faith?
- Would we, like Peter and John, by our faith-filled words and actions, be recognizable as companions of Jesus?
Poetry: To Find God – Robert Herrick
Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find
A way to measure out the wind?
Distinguish all those floods that are
Mixed in that wat’ry theater,
And taste thou them as saltless there,
As in their channel first they were.
Tell me the people that do keep
Within the kingdoms of the deep;
Or fetch me back that cloud again,
Beshivered into seeds of rain.
Tell me the motes, dust, sands, and spears
Of corn, when summer shakes his ears;
Show me that world of stars, and whence
They noiseless spill their influence.
This if thou canst; then show me Him
That rides the glorious cherubim.
Music: Amazing Love – Peggy Duquesnel