This timely reminder from a priest’s homily this week reminds me of what Jesus himself had said while he preached, His comments reminded me of what Jesus himself had said on a few occasions while he preached, “Something greater than the temple is here”(Matthew 12:6) “and there is something greater than Solomon here” (Matthew 12:42). This sets the stage for my reflection, one that has been building as I’ve followed the Good News preached daily during the Octave of Easter.
Monday: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed…and behold, Jesus met them on their way…and said to them “Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 28:8-15)
Tuesday: In the Gospel of John, we read of Mary Magdalene staying outside of the tomb weeping, overcome with grief and sorrow. She looks inside the empty tomb and sees two angels who ask, “why are you weeping?” Incredulous she responds, “They have taken my Lord.” She turns and sees Jesus who also asks, “woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” But she does not recognize him. Too overcome she mistakes him for the gardener. Jesus calls her by name. Jesus said to her, “Mary!” And her eyes are open and she embraces him. (John 20:11-18)
Wednesday: We have Luke’s account of two disciples walking towards Emmaus. As they walked and talked “Jesus drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him….and he asked “what are you discussing”. They were downcast when they reported all that had happened. Jesus was not the saviour they expected. Once they had their say Jesus had his, and he interpreted the scriptures for them revealing salvation history…and their hearts were burning within while he spoke to them and opened the scriptures. When they share supper and he broke bread with them were their eyes opened and they realized, it was Jesus. They made haste and returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples the great news. (Luke 24:13-35)
Thursday: The Gospel returns to the disciples who had returned. They recounted what had taken place on the road to Emmaus. While they were speaking Jesus appears before them and says, “Peace be with you.” The disciples were startled and terrified. They thought they were seeing a ghost. Then Jesus says to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your heart? Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And he once again proceeded to reveal how Scripture foretold of his coming and how he has fulfilled God’s salvific plan. (Luke 24:35-48)
Friday: Peter decides that he is going fishing. He is returning to his trade pre-Jesus. The other disciples decide to join him. They go out. They catch nothing that day or that night. The following day Jesus appears on the shore. Discovering that they had no luck he tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat. They did so and “were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.” I can imagine the flashbacks they are having to the last time such a miracle happened. St. John then proclaims, “It is the Lord!” They returned to shore and shared a meal. (John 21:1-14).
Fearful yet overjoyed, weeping overcome with grief, downcast, startled and terrified, resigned to return to the way life used to be summarizes the range of emotions that prevailed with the disciples. The living Jesus they knew had been taken from them not leaving them with much else to go on. Coming face to face with Christ in the resurrection is an entirely different matter! It changed them.
It changes us! As we move ahead in this Easter season, let us not be so wrapped up with ourselves that we miss out on the fact that something greater is going on here. Just as the Gospels show, it is different for each one of us, but the truth remains that when Jesus reveals himself great things will happen.