Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday in the Octave of Easter
Keeping Him In Our Sights

Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Matthew 28:8-15

Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way…

The rigours of Lent are finally over. The intensity of the Easter Triduum has all but dissipated. And there’s a part of me that heaves a sigh of relief. But we bid farewell to the six Sundays of Lent only to plunge into seven Sundays of Easter. Even though the Triduum is over, we remain in the Octave of Easter. We continue to celebrate Easter Day, the first day of the week for us Christians. And truly, I need all this time to allow myself to enter more deeply into the reality of the resurrected life of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

The texts for Mass help us to do this today by reminding us about the importance of sight. In the first reading, Peter quotes King David as saying: I saw the Lord before me always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me. And in the psalm, we made these words our own: I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since with him at my right hand, I shall stand firm. How then are we – who want so much to experience the joy of Easter more deeply – to keep the Lord in our sights?

We begin, as we did in the sequence, by questioning Mary Magdalene, asking her to tell us what she saw. What did she and her female companions see? At the tomb, they saw the same things that the guards saw. There was an earthquake and an angel rolled the stone away from the tomb’s entrance. And guards and women alike were stricken with fear. But here the similarity ends. The guards run off to report to the authorities who are just as fearful, and all become party to a cooked-up story. Their fear blinds them, and they see no longer.

Things are different for the women. Even in their fear, their faith in and love for the Lord moves them not only to remain at the tomb, but also to converse with the fearsome angel, who calms their fear and tells them what to do. They are to go and tell the other disciples that the Lord is risen. At once fearful and yet filled with great joy, they obey. And in their obedience they see the risen Christ, who gives them further instructions. How are they and the disciples to continuing seeing Christ? How are they to keep the Lord ever in their sights? They must leave for Galilee. They must return to the place where Jesus began his mission. They must remember all that the Lord had done and taught. They must continue the work that saw their Lord walking the road to Calvary and beyond. And they must do all this in memory of Him. This is how they can experience the resurrected life. This is the way for them to continue to see the Lord.

Sisters and brothers, how is the Crucified and Risen Lord inviting us to keep him ever in our sight? Where is our Galilee?

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